WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. government advisory panel has endorsed Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, in a major step toward an epic vaccination campaign that could finally conquer the outbreak.
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to follow the recommendation issued Thursday by its expert advisers. The group concluded that the shot appears safe and effective against the coronavirus in people 16 and older.
A final FDA decision is expected within days. Shots would then begin for health care workers and nursing home residents. Widespread access to the general public is not expected until the spring.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued the following statement regarding the approval:
“The FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine is great news for the state of Iowa and the entire country, and will allow us to move forward in our recovery from COVID-19 with even greater certainty. Because of our proactive planning, our state is ready to receive shipments and quickly distribute them so that our health care workforce and long-term care residents will be vaccinated first.
While this is a positive step forward, it will take time until the vaccine is widely available. Until then, we must continue to mitigate the virus by practicing public health measures so we can protect the most vulnerable and preserve hospital resources, while keeping our economy open and our kids in school.”