After months of diligent work to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. The news succeeds recent data which indicated the COVID-19 vaccine candidate’s early results of 90% effective in the 43,000 participants involved.
The recommendation comes from an independent panel of scientific advisors of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Dr. Robert Redfield approved their recommendation after the panel’s 13-1 vote in favor of the distribution plan.
Considering that the development of vaccines can take years, especially when it involves new technologies that have not been tested for safety or adapted for mass production, federal officials are prepared to send 6.4 million doses within 24 hours of authorization before the end of the year. The approved interim recommendation will be to prioritize healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. More specifically, distribution to approximately 21 million U.S. healthcare workers and 3 million long-term care residents.
As Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech continue to submit data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), approval for vaccine use in the United States is yet to be determined. Federal advisory groups, however, will discuss authorization and distribution tactics for the COVID-19 vaccine today, December 10, 2020. In addition to these actions, Moderna Inc. has also applied for EUA for its COVID-19 vaccine and is currently working through the approval process.
Under the approved interim recommendation, the beginning of 2021 would be the earliest the public would have access to the vaccine. In the meantime, governors and state health officials will be closely monitoring FDA updates and will be tasked with making local decisions.
As seen throughout the duration of the pandemic, the CDC continues to encourage everyone to do their part by taking precautionary steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 – as outlined on their website – and consider what the vaccine distribution timeline means for organizations and their employees.
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Trust the Creative Benefits Team to provide timely updates surrounding the state of the pandemic and any changes to the vaccine timeline.