FDA meeting next week to decide on vaccine emergency use authorization

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Emergency approval for multiple COVID-19 vaccines are just around the corner, as states prepare for the complicated rollout process.

Operation Warp Speed revealed how it will be distributing the nearly 20 million first doses across the country, shipping in two portions because they require two doses.

“Half of the allocation will be sent out and then 21 days later for Pfizer and 28 days later for Moderna we send out the second half of the allocations, making sure that we don’t overwhelm limited storage capability,” said General Gustave Perna, Chief Operations Officer, Operation Warp Speed.

Many Americans wondering if there is a difference between the first two vaccines, one saying it’s over 90 percent effective, the other 95 percent.

“Think of a bell-shaped curve, right? When you get towards that upper side, that right side of the curve, there is really not a significant difference between ninety percent and ninety-five percent,” said Dr. Jen Ashton, ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent.

The CDC recommending those initial doses be allocated to healthcare workers and elderly home care residents. 

Some parents asking for teachers and children to get vaccinated as soon as possible, but vaccinating the younger population might take longer.

“In terms of children they have not yet been part of clinical trials and new trials are starting up with kids,” said Ashish Jha, Dean, Brown University School of Public Health.

Doctors are also saying you’ll need the vaccine, even if you’ve recovered from covid.

“Right now the recommendation from the CDC which I agree with, is people who have been previously infected and recovered should get the vaccine. We think the immunity from the vaccine will last longer,” added Jha.

As for returning to a life that was more like it was before covid, experts say the majority of Americans need to get vaccinated for the virus to really go away.

“Even if 30 percent, 40 percent of Americans get it, it will make a big difference, but probably need to get to 70 percent or 80 percent of people,” said Jha.

The FDA will meet next week to decide on the vaccine emergency use authorization. Drugmakers say once approved, they can move the product right away.

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