InvestorQ : Has the US FDA approved the Pfizer COVID vaccine and what are the next steps now?
Anamika Sodhani made post

Has the US FDA approved the Pfizer COVID vaccine and what are the next steps now?

Angel dcosta answered.
3 years ago

The USFDA has confirmed that it had authorized the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, with the first inoculations expected to happen in the next few days. The vaccine assumes importance in the US with more than 3 lakh deaths already recorded in the US as an outcome of the pandemic.

It needs to be remembered that the USFDA has granted an emergency use authorization or EUA for the vaccine. Pfizer has developed this vaccine in association with German partner BionTech. In tests done on actual participants, the vaccine showed 95% effectiveness in preventing the disease when it was administered in a late stage trial.

Healthcare workers and elderly people will be the first ones to be administered and nearly 2.9 million doses will be administered in the first round. The US needs to inoculate at least 70% of its population with the vaccine for the herd immunity formula to kick in. Meanwhile, the residents in UK have already started receiving the Pfizer shots.

The vaccine has bene developed jointly by Pfizer and BionTech using a technology called synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA). The technology is unique in that it leverages a chemical messenger to instruct cells to make proteins that mimic part of the new Coronavirus; such that the immune system can easily recognize and act upon.

The biggest challenge in the Pfizer vaccine is distribution as it has to be shipped and stored at -70 Celsius, and needs specialized ultra-cold freezers or massive supplies of dry ice. The US vaccinations may get a boost from Moderna vaccine which employs similar technology but does not have to be stored at sub-arctic temperatures.

To begin with, the US has ordered 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, that can inoculate 50 million Americans as two doses need to be given. In addition, the US also has deals with Moderna, Johnson and AstraZeneca but authorizations may be some time away. If things go as per plan, the US should be safer footing by end of 2021.