Coronavirus Vaccine on the Fast Track as FDA Nears Making Final Pfizer Decision

Gov. Newsom anticipates an approval for the Moderna vaccine to follow right behind Pfizer

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Two coronavirus vaccines are on the fast track as Gov. Gavin Newsom weighed in Monday on how they might be distributed. 

The rush is on at UCSF as the FDA is very close to making a decision on the Pfizer vaccine.

“We know the FDA is going to meet on Dec. 10 it’s said that hours after that decision is made people will be able to get the vaccine,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, infectious disease specialist at UCSF.

An advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was set to meet Tuesday to discuss who should be in line first to receive a coronavirus vaccine and what the timeline is for distribution to the general public. Bob Redell reports.

The drug and injection sites will be ready to go. UCSF and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospitals are getting ready to roll out the first phase of distribution.

At the governor’s news conference Monday, Newsom said 327,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are on their way to California.  

“These are challenging vaccines because these are the ultra low temperature stored and it requires a second dose in which we anticipate in three weeks,” Newsom said.

He anticipates an approval for the Moderna vaccine to follow right behind Pfizer.

A CDC advisory committee will meet Tuesday to decide who will get the shots first.

“The process is not straight forward you have to think who is the front line of the first line. We don't have vaccines to immunize all health care workers in California in the first batch of vaccines,” said Chin-Hong.

Moving millions of doses of the vaccine will be a challenge. American Airlines is a part of a massive distribution network now taking shape world-wide. It is using empty passenger planes to rush supplies around the globe.

"I think our biggest challenge is going to be reaching those urban constituents that need the vaccine, rural health care centers, rural hospitals,” said Dr. Jose Romero, Arkansas’ health director.

The hospitals must be equipped to store the vaccine. The Pfizer drug requires arctic cold, negative 94-degrees Fahrenheit. 

There’s a lot of work that needs to be done in a very short amount of time.

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