US on cusp of Covid vaccine as deaths hit 3,253 in a day – Times of India

WASHINGTON: The United States prepared to roll out a coronavirus vaccine within days as the country’s daily death toll hit 3,253 for the first time on Wednesday, exceeding the number of lives lost from the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The US death toll since the start of the pandemic has reached 2,89,740, with a record 1,06,219 people hospitalised. Potentially helping to rein in the outbreak, a vaccine could start reaching healthcare workers, first responders and nursing home residents as soon as Sunday, though more likely early next week, according to Trump administration officials.
The FDA’s vaccine advisory panel, composed of independent scientific experts, infectious disease doctors and statisticians, as well as industry and consumer representatives, is meeting all day on Thursday to discuss whether Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine should be authorised by the agency. Although the FDA does not have to follow the advice of the panel, it usually does. If the experts vote in favour of the vaccine, it will clear the way for the FDA to authorise it within days.
The panel functions like a science court. During the daylong session, it was expected to debate and pick apart the data — in public — on whether the vaccine is safe and effective enough to be cleared for emergency use. With unprecedented interest in the normally obscure panel, the FDA broadcast the meeting via Youtube, and thousands logged on. Panel members are likely to discuss how a broad authorisation of the vaccine — the vote is whether it should be allowed in adults 16 and older — might affect the clinical trial, which will continue. Some experts have argued that, ethically, trial volunteers who received a placebo trial should be offered the real vaccine once it is authorised, but others worry this could tarnish the long-term trial results.
Experts could also bring up concerns over possible allergic reactions after two health workers in Britain, who had histories of severe allergies, developed such reactions after they received the Pfizer shot.
FDA’s head Steven Hahn, ahead of the meeting, said the agency was carefully reviewing all the data on Pfizer’s vaccine, including potential allergic reactions in the wake of the UK developments. FDA consent for Pfizer could come as early as Friday or Saturday, followed by the first US injections on Sunday or Monday, Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to Operation Warp, said. A dose by Moderna is a week behind. Widespread inoculations, however, could take months.

Source link

About news

Check Also

US FDA gives emergency use authorisation to Covid-19 vaccine from J&J – Times of India

WASHINGTON: The US Food and Drug Administration has authorised a single-dose Johnson and Johnson anti-coronavirus …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *