FDA Vaccine Panel Endorses Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Full FDA approval is likely, and vaccinations could begin next week.


After a day of public deliberation and debate, the members of the Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted on the question: Based on the totality of scientific evidence available, do the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine outweigh its risks for use in individuals 16 years of age and older?

The vote was 17 Yes, 4 No, and 1 Abstention.

Considering that the United Kingdom, Canada, and even Saudi Arabia have already approved the vaccine, it seems likely that the FDA's regulators will accept the independent panel's judgement and issue an Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccine within days, if not hours. The rollout of the vaccine could begin next week.

The approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine bodes well for Moderna's similar vaccine which the same panel will consider next week.