BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– Two vaccine developers – Pfizer and Moderna – are awaiting emergency use authorizations in the United States.
A Food and Drug Administration panel is scheduled to discuss whether to authorize the Covid-19 vaccines developed by the companies.
Initial supplies in the United States will be limited.
A Centers for Disease Control panel recommended this week that healthcare and long-term care workers be the first in line.
“Obviously, that’s very critical, right? Because we want to protect our nursing home residents. But the people that take care of them could potentially introduce the virus,” said Dr. Thomas Russo, an infectious disease expert with University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine.
“And so, we want to have them protected as well,” he said.
And what about Americans somewhat skeptical about getting the Covid-19 vaccine?
Polls have indicated that some individuals would rather wait a while before getting the shot.
“You have to weigh the potential benefits versus the potential risks,” Russo said.
“And though it looks at this point that this vaccine is going to be very safe, we need to remember even if there are some side effects, and maybe even some that haven’t been identified yet that are more serious, the consequences of getting infected is extraordinarily serious as well,” Russo added.
If the drug companies get the greenlight from the FDA panel, the first vaccine shipments could happen as soon as the middle of the month.
“The technological tour de force and the speed with which these vaccines have been developed, that look so encouraging at this point, is remarkable,” Russo said.