This is a new step towards the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in the United States. A U.S. Drug Agency (FDA) vaccine advisory committee voted Thursday, December 10 after a day of hearings to recommend that the agency authorize Pfizer’s vaccine in the United States. BioNTech against Covid-19.
This opinion is non-binding, and the green light for marketing has not yet been given. The FDA will decide in the coming days. But the outcome is clear and the vaccine should begin to be administered in the United States early next week in hospitals and nursing homes, the US Minister of Health said Wednesday.
The vaccine was found to be safe, without serious side effects, and 95% effective after two doses in preventing Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The first dose seems to start to protect after ten days, but less well than with the booster three weeks later.
“The immune responses elicited by mRNA (messenger RNA) are similar to those of natural infection. But of course the mRNA vaccine is non-infectious and cannot cause disease.”, summarized Kathrin Jansen, Chief Vaccine Officer at Pfizer, during a question-and-answer session with the committee. Experts have debated at length the risk of allergy after two cases of severe reactions in the UK.
In the United States, a warning will accompany the vaccine, announced Marion Gruber of the FDA: it will not be recommended for people with a known allergy to any of its ingredients. But Paul Offit, a member of the committee, stressed the need to reassure the tens of millions of people allergic to eggs or peanuts.