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According to the FDA, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is given as two shots administered 21 days apart. One dose is to prime the body, and then a few weeks later, the second dose is to boost the response.
On December 11, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) in collaboration with BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) for emergency use. The authorization allows the distribution of the vaccine in the US, but the drug is still short of full approval. More steps have to be completed before the vaccine gets a full license. Anyway, a start has been made, vaccination will soon begin. As the US regulators have said, they expect to have immunized 100 million people (or 30% of the population) by the end of March.
“We would have immunized 100 million people by the first quarter of 2021. It is however critical that most of the American people decide and accept to take the vaccine. We are very concerned by the hesitancy that we see.”
According to Slaoui, the US will distribute about 40 million doses of vaccine by the end of December. Those include the vaccine not only from Pfizer but also from Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA). Another 50 million to 80 million doses will be distributed in January, then in February. 145 distribution centers will receive the first doses today. An additional 425 centers will get shipments on Tuesday, another 66 sites will receive the drug on Wednesday.
Slaoui has also noted that there is no need to worry about the availability of the vaccine. As he said, there will be enough doses. According to Slaoui, the vaccine candidate from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is likely to be ready for authorization late in January or early in February. Besides, AstraZeneca’s (NASDAQ: AZN) vaccine is “potentially approvable somewhere late in February.”
Following the news, Pfizer stock soared. On Friday, it closed 1.46% down, $41.12 per share. But after hours, it rose 0.51% to $41.33.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine contains RNA (mRNA), the genetic material that instructs cells in the body to make the virus’s distinctive “spike” protein. When a person receives this vaccine, their body produces copies of the spike protein. It does not cause disease but triggers the immune system to learn to make an immune response against SARS-CoV-2. In clinical testing, the drug has shown 95% effectiveness. The study included 37,586 participants. 18,801 of them received the vaccine and 18,785 received a placebo. What is more, the vaccine was 94% effective in elderly adults. This age group is most at risk.
According to the FDA, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is given as two shots administered 21 days apart. One dose is to prime the body, and then a few weeks later, the second dose is to boost the response. The vaccine will be available for people 16 years of age and older, including healthy individuals.
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