What happens after COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for emergency use?
What will happen after emergency use authorization is granted for the COVID-19 vaccine?
In the three weeks since Pfizer submitted its vaccine for emergency use, the U.K. and Canada have already given the green light as the U.S. awaits a decision here.
"The FDA put a 60-day window on tracking half of vaccine trial participants. Most adverse effects happen in 60 days," says Claire Hannan, executive director, of the Association of Immunization Managers.
The Association of Immunization Managers is a nationwide nonprofit focused on immunization. It has played a vital role during the pandemic by hosting regional and national discussions between lawmakers and pharmaceutical companies.
"In regular times have two webinars a month - we're really having two or three a week," says Hannan.
Hannan anticipates there could be a decision from the FDA as early as Friday.
Once approved, vaccines will be shipped to hospitals designated by each state.
"States have picked between one and 20 hospitals that have the capacity to receive the vaccine," she says.
Each state then decides who will be vaccinated first.
In New York, staff and residents of long-term care facilities are first in line.
The federal government partnered with CVS and Walgreens to lead those vaccinations, which Hannan says will take two weeks to initiate. States must allocate 50% of doses to long-term care facilities before it can start.
"The concept there is to make sure when CVS and Walgreens staff up to come into long-term care facilities, the doses are going to be there," says Hannan,
Hannan says vaccinations of that vulnerable population could start Dec. 21, with hospital staff starting sooner, with COVID-19 vaccines anticipated to land in New York next Tuesday.
As for how quickly we could see the first person vaccinated, Hannan say's she's "not sure whether it will take 24 hours or 48 hours."