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COVID-19 vaccine | First Americans could be vaccinated on December 12: Report

The FDA advisory committee meets on December 10 to discuss Pfizer Inc’s request for an emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate

November 23, 2020 / 07:14 AM IST
Representative Image (Image: Reuters)

Representative Image (Image: Reuters)

The head of the US COVID-19 vaccine programme as said the first immunizations in America could happen as early as on December 12, just two days after the FDA advisory committee's meeting to discuss Pfizer Inc’s request for an emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

"Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I expect maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or the 12th of December," CNN quoted Slaoui as saying.

Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca: What is the latest on COVID-19 vaccine from the manufacturers?

 Adding more, Dr Moncef Slaoui even stated that they are planning to ship the COVID-19 vaccines to states within 24 hours of the expected FDA approval. Recently, US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced that the vaccine appears 95 percent effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease.

Meanwhile, Russian drugmaker Sputnik V claimed that its vaccine would be cheaper than those of Moderna and Pfizer. Moderna had earlier stated that its vaccine might be priced between $25 and $37 per dose.

"Translating pharma lingo: the announced price of Pfizer of $19.50 and Moderna of $25-$37 per dose actually means their price of $39 and $50-$74 per person. Two doses are required per person for the Pfizer, Sputnik V and Moderna vaccines. The price of Sputnik V will be much lower," Sputnik V wrote on Twitter on November 22.

While Pfizer with its partner BioNTech SE had stated that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was 95 percent effective in the final analysis based on clinical trials data.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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"The study results mark an important step in this historic eight-month journey to bring forward a vaccine capable of helping to end this devastating pandemic. We continue to move at the speed of science to compile all the data collected thus far and share with regulators around the world," Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla said.
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