First coronavirus immunizations could come Dec. 12, says head of federal vaccine-development program

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Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the vaccine expert, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Nov. 13.

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WASHINGTON — The head of the U.S. effort to produce a coronavirus vaccine says the first immunizations could happen on Dec. 12. A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is set to meet Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer Inc.’s request for an emergency use authorization for its developing COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer
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and its German partner BioNTech
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recently announced that the vaccine appears 95% effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease in a large, ongoing study. Dr. Moncef Slaoui, head of “Operation Warp Speed,” the coronavirus vaccine program, says plans are to ship vaccines to states within 24 hours of expected FDA approval. Slaoui told CNN he expects vaccinations would begin on the second day after approval, Dec. 12.

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