Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

U.S. FDA says working to authorize Pfizer vaccine fast

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A pharmacist undergoes training as they prepare for the distribution of the Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a Mount Sinai Health System pharmacy in the Queens borough of New York City, in this handout photo released on December 10, 2020. Mount Sinai Health System/Handout via REUTERS NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.

Dec 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday it was working rapidly to finalize and issue an emergency use authorization for Pfizer Inc's (PFE.N) COVID-19 vaccine.

A panel of outside advisers to the FDA on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to endorse emergency use of the vaccine, paving the way for the agency to authorize the shot for a country that has lost more than 285,000 lives to COVID-19. read more

Pfizer has asked that the two-dose vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech , be approved for use in people aged 16 to 85.

The agency has also notified the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed so that they can execute their plans for timely vaccine distribution. (

The vaccine, which was shown to be 95% effective in preventing the disease in a late-stage trial, was approved in Britain earlier this month, and people there began receiving the shots on Tuesday.

Bahrain and Canada have also authorized the vaccine, and Canada expects to start inoculations next week.

Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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