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ACIP Recommendations for Pfizer Vaccine Candidate

Dec 07, 2020 12:26 pm

The CDC advisory panel, ACIP, has voted and declared that the first wave of vaccines should go to the front line healthcare workers and elderly residents in long term care facilities as part of Phase1a. These two populations are considered highest risk for exposure and transmission of SARS-CoV-2. There are approximately 21 million health care workers and 3 million long-term care facility residents who meet the CDC definition for first line vaccination as published in MMWR

This decision was not unanimous, one physician dissented on the grounds that the elderly populations, while at high risk, also have co-morbidities that may also lead to complications or death unrelated to vaccination. Dr. Helen Kiepp Talbot, who has researched vaccinations in the elderly, argued that we currently have little data to support vaccination efficacy in this population and that any adverse event that occurs after vaccination may be wrongfully attributed to the vaccine. This would then potentially increase anti-vaxxer concerns. 

The UK, having already accepted the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, is starting first round healthcare worker vaccinations tomorrow in England, Scotland, and Wales. They are expected to receive 4 million doses by the end of December and have ordered 40 million doses for 2021. In terms of the US, the FDA accepted individual state vaccine dose requests through last Friday. 

At this point, the FDA is set to convene on Thursday to further discuss approval and emergency use authorization for Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Barring FDA approval, Operation Warp Speed officials state 6.4 million doses will be immediately available. We will have more news on where these will be shipped after approval. 

Additional References:

1. Fact Sheet: Explaining Operation Warp Speed 

2. CDC advisory panel’s lone dissenter on why long-term care residents shouldn’t receive Covid-19 vaccine first

3. The Vaccine Review Process and Why You Should Know It:


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