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COVID-19 VACCINE *UPDATE*

The road ahead in the U.S. as the U.K. becomes the first country in the West to approve a COVID-19 vaccine.

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BACKGROUND

  • November: AstraZeneca, Moderna & Pfizer all announced promising results from their COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. Pfizer & Moderna applied for FDA emergency use authorization.
  • December 1: CDC advisory cmte. met to discuss distribution (who should receive priority to get the vaccine first).
  • December 10 & 17: FDA advisory cmte. will meet to discuss Pfizer & Moderna emergency use applications.
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LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

  • A panel of doctors, researchers, and specialists advises the CDC on vaccine recommendations – the FDA ultimately approves a vaccine for use.
  • This CDC advisory panel recommended a plan for potential COVID-19 vaccine distribution based on limited initial supply & weighing who’s at most risk.
  • Those living or working in long-term care facilities and healthcare workers currently would be first in line.
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BY THE NUMBERS

CDC estimates: 

  • Approx. 21M healthcare workers (ex: hospital & long-term care personnel)
  • Approx. 53M adults age 65 and older
  • Approx. 87M non-healthcare essential workers (ex: education, manufacturing, transportation, police & fire employees)
  • More than 100M adults with high-risk medical conditions (ex: cancer, obesity & diabetes)
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IMPORTANT CONTEXT

  • The CDC’s cmte’s recommendations regarding which groups get vaccine priority are not binding on states.
  • Just as each state has their own COVID-related restrictions, each state will establish their own criteria and plan for how vaccines will be allocated.
  • To date, NO vaccines have received FDA emergency use authorization, but the federal gov’t expects to have 40M COVID vaccine doses in coming weeks.
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“We are committed to expediting the development of COVID-19 vaccines, but not at the expense of sound science and decision making. We will not jeopardize the public’s trust in our science-based, independent review of these or any vaccines. There’s too much at stake.”

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn & Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Director Dr. Peter Marks.
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To date, all the data we have regarding vaccines has come from the companies themselves -- NOT the federal gov't -- or peer-reviewed studies. There's still A LOT we don't know, like how soon after a vaccine dose does immunity protection occur. Vaccine trials are ongoing both in the U.S. and abroad.

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