An advisory committee to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects to vote Sunday whether to recommend Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, according to an agenda posted on the agency’s website.
If the panel votes in favor of the vaccine, that’s the last step needed before shots can go into arms.
An advisory panel to the US Food and Drug Administration voted to recommend emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine on Thursday.
If the FDA does follow the advice of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee – and it usually does – then it’s the CDC’s turn to review the data.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet virtually Friday to discuss Pfizer’s data, according to the agenda. Dr. William Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president of vaccine clinical research and development, will make a presentation to the group.
The company’s clinical trials have shown the vaccine to be 95% effective with no severe side effects.
Once the FDA issues an EUA, then ACIP – a panel of independent experts – can vote on whether to recommend it.
“We anticipate being able to vote on the use of this vaccine on Sunday,” CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund told CNN.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield has to sign off on ACIP’s recommendation before it’s an official recommendation.
ACIP will also vote on whether any groups should not receive the vaccine. The vaccine has not yet been studied in several groups, including children under age 16, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people who are immunocompromised.
On Dec. 1, the panel voted that the first two groups to receive the vaccine should be health care workers, and residents of nursing home and assisted living facilities.