A panel of advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted Saturday to recommend that the coronavirus vaccine created by Pfizer and BioNTech be administered to people age 16 and up, moving one step closer to getting the shot into the arms of millions of Americans.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices cast its vote during an emergency session on Saturday. The vaccine cannot be administered until CDC Director Robert Redfield approves the recommendation, though that is anticipated to occur later this weekend.
The vote comes a day after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Pfizer vaccine candidate for emergency use in the U.S.
The panel made a series of recommendations to health care providers, including monitoring people with allergies for 30 minutes after an injection.
The CDC vaccine panel recommended that health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities should be the first in the U.S. to get the vaccine, while people older than 65, essential workers and those with underlying medical conditions will be immunized in a second phase.
The Pfizer shots will have to be transported with dry ice to remain at below-freezing temperatures to maintain its efficacy. Data has shown the Pfizer vaccine to be 95 percent effective.
The Trump administration has already begun shipping the vaccine “to every state and ZIP code in the country,” the president said Friday, and governors will decide who gets vaccinated first.