Panama City, FL –
CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) – The vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is said to be 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 and on Thursday an outside expert committee is expected to vote on whether the United States Food and Drug Administration should allow its use.
“It is effective in people under 55, [it’s also] effective in African Americans, Hispanics, Whites and Asians, ”said John Grabenstein of the Coalition for Immunization Action.
The committee called the Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biologics is composed of independent external experts. The FDA released its review of the vaccine earlier this week, ahead of Thursday’s meeting.
“These independent scientists will debate it, they will discuss it, they will see a lot of details, and then they will vote,” Grabenstein added.
Some participants in vaccine trials complained of pain in the arms and minor aches and pains. British doctors report that two vaccinees – both of whom suffer from severe allergies – had allergic reactions to the vaccine. British regulators are now advising people with severe allergic reactions to avoid getting vaccinated. It is not yet clear what prompted the reactions and experts here in the United States predict it will be discussed at Thursday’s meeting, but say it should not be a major cause for concern.
Dr Jim Baker, former CEO of the National Food Allergy Foundation, said reactions to the British vaccine are not well defined.
“These were people who had had allergic reactions to a lot of different things in the past, but not this vaccine. I think the really valuable thing the British could do is look at those two cases and see what the real cause was, “Dr Baker said.
It is the most developed vaccine in history, but doctors said it was safe and the process of working towards an emergency use authorization was orderly.
At an Operation Warp Speed meeting, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr Alex Azar said: “All the requirements of statistical significance for effectiveness are the same as they would have been. for a full license. “
“This vaccine is really the only way out of the pandemic. We did social distancing, we did masks – and they help – but they haven’t stopped deaths and infections in general, ”Dr Baker added.
Depending on how quickly the FDA acts, the first recipients could receive their injection in the coming days.
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