LIVE UPDATES: FDA finalizes Pfizer coronavirus vaccine approval

Follow below for the latest coronavirus news

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday formally granted emergency approval for Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine candidate, officially paving the way for widespread distribution of the long-awaited vaccine that is recommended to go to health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities first. 

The move comes just one day after an FDA advisory panel voted to endorse the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine

In a joint statement released after the vote, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said the agency will now "rapidly work toward finalization and issuance of an emergency use authorization." 

Fast Facts

    • The FDA has formally granted emergency approval for Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine
    • Vaccine shipments would begin within hours of the FDA’s decision
    • Pfizer’s vaccine will be available in limited quantities, with initial doses earmarked for frontline health care workers and high-risk patients.

Vaccine shipments would begin within hours of the FDA’s decision, with the first vaccinations to follow soon afterward. Pfizer’s vaccine will be available in limited quantities, with initial doses earmarked for frontline health care workers and high-risk patients.

In November, Pfizer announced that its coronavirus vaccine was 95 percent effective and has not displayed any major side effects.

Follow below for updates on the coronavirus pandemic. Mobile users click here.