© Reuters. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination study at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood
By Rebecca Spalding
(Reuters) -A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel on Saturday recommended the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine, helping clear the way for public health authorities to begin the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 11 to 0 to recommend the vaccine from Pfizer Inc (NYSE:) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:) as appropriate for Americans 16 and older. There were three abstentions due to prior conflicts of interest.
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday issued an emergency use authorization for the vaccine, clearing it for use by the general public.
The CDC is expected to consider and approve the recommendations by the panel in short order.
State and local public health authorities will use FDA and CDC guidance as they administer the first 2.9 million doses of the vaccine released to state, cities, and territories by the federal government.
ACIP already recommended that authorities should prioritize healthcare workers and nursing home residents for the first doses that become available.
It then falls on states and certain large cities to start administering the vaccine to local hospitals and nursing homes. Hospitals are expected to start vaccinating their employees as early as Monday.
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