The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19.
Eleven members of the committee voted to recommend the vaccine and the remaining three members were disqualified.
Even though this is a step closer to the beginning of vaccine distribution in the US, they cannot be administered yet.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency authorization of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine. After this, it was recommended by the FDA’s vaccine advisers. The ACIP also recently recommended that the CDC grant authorization for the vaccine to be added to the schedule and distributed in the United States.
After the CDC agrees to ACIP’s recommendation, the delivery of the vaccine to the American people can begin. According to federal government officials from Operation Warp Speed, the vaccines have been packaged and are ready for distribution.
The ACIP members discussed in their recent meeting whether the public will be ready to receive the vaccine, and who is eligible to take it, and what communication strategy they will employ to convey the instructions to healthcare providers as well as the general public.
The members of ACIP gave a statement on their analysis of the vaccine, explaining that it was completely independent, based on scientific facts and figures. A clinical professor of global health from the University of Washington who is a part of the ACIP shared that the committee went through an entire process to make sure their decision was unbiased and transparent.
Many of the committee members have recommended the vaccine and have stated that they would take it themselves as well as encourage family members to take it.
A pediatrician at the University of California, who is also a member of the ACIP, explains that he voted for the vaccine because they had substantial evidence to support that it’s safe and effective. He also added that it had a great benefit-risk profile and they evaluated the vaccine according to their policy framework as well as the evidence provided.
He also talked about the importance of increasing government funding to aid the distribution of the vaccine. He acknowledged that it will be a difficult process given the rise in coronavirus cases in the US and a limited number of vaccines available, but he is holding on to the hope that the vaccine will initiate the end of the pandemic.