The Latest: First US immunizations could arrive on Dec. 12

Coronavirus

A worker in a protective suit takes a throat swab for a COVID-19 test in Wenchang in southern China’s Hainan Province, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Authorities are conducting mass testing and shutting down schools after China reported three new domestically transmitted cases in the past 24 hours – two in northern Inner Mongolia province and one in Shanghai. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

WASHINGTON (AP) – 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 and its German partner BioNTech 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 the 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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