First US COVID-19 immunizations could arrive on Dec. 12

Coronavirus

Pfizer and German biotechnology firm BioNTech have agreed to supply the U.S. government with 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine once it is ready under a $1.95 billion deal. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – The head of the U.S. effort to produce a coronavirus vaccine says the first immunizations could happen on Dec. 12.

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is set to meet Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer Inc.’s request for an emergency use authorization for its developing COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech recently announced that the vaccine appears 95% effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease in a large, ongoing study.

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, head of the Operation Warp Speed, the coronavirus vaccine program, says plans are to ship vaccines to states within 24 hours of expected FDA approval.

Slaoui told CNN he expects vaccinations would begin on the second day after approval, Dec. 12.

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