A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel will meet this coming Tuesday to help determine how initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine doses, assuming they will be approved for emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Initially a scarce medical product, experts are considering that healthcare workers would be first in line for the opportunity for a jab of the most imminently authorized vaccines: BNT162b2 from Pfizer/BioNTech and mRNA-1273 from Moderna. The latter has filed for an EUA and the former is planning on doing so imminently. Other groups considered at the top of the list for priority vaccine access: other workers in identified “essential industries,” individuals with medical conditions (e.g. comorbidities) and the elderly (over 65). For this latter group, some data points to 40 percent of all deaths associated with COVID-19 occurring among the elderly in long-term care facilities. The CDC panel, known as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, includes members who should get vaccinated and when.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has posted their agenda on the CDC website. Scheduled for this Tuesday, December 1 at 2PM ET, the CDC will first discuss COVID-19 vaccines and introduce undoubtedly the scarce nature of the supply in what is known as “Phase 1a” but also those most at risk or clinical considerations for populations included in Phase 1a. This advisory committee will then offer a public comment period at 4:10PM ET and then vote. Directly after the vote this committee will then discuss the allocation of initial supplies of the targeted COVID-19 vaccine during Phase 1a.
Who are the Members/Presenters?
The agenda lists a number of individuals including the following: Dr. José Romero (ACIP Chair) Dr. Amanda Cohn (ACIP Executive Secretary, CDC) Dr. Beth Bell (ACIP, WG Chair) Dr. Kathleen Dooling (CDC/NCIRD) Dr. Sara Oliver (CDC/NCIRD) Dr. Tom Shimabukuro (CDC/NCEZID),Dr. Kathleen Dooling (CDC/NCIRD). For ACIP committee details, see the link.
The FDA’s scientific advisors will hold a public meeting on Dec. 10 to review Pfizer’s request for an EUA, and during that meeting will develop the recommendation to the FDA. Importantly vaccine manufacturers have already started producing “at risk” meaning they were manufacturing vaccine candidates before actual approval of the vaccine. That is why some of the pharmaceutical companies accepted capital under Operation Warp Speed in the United States.
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