(CNBC) – Health-care workers in the United States could get the first doses of a coronavirus vaccine in about a month. Pfizer announced Wednesday that it planned to submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use “within days” after a final data analysis found its vaccine was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 and, in addition, appeared to fend off severe disease in patients who contracted the virus.
The news follows Moderna’s announcement Monday that its vaccine was 94.5% effective. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told CNBC earlier this week that the FDA would move “as quickly as possible” to clear both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines.
The FDA process is expected to take a few weeks, and an advisory committee meeting to review the vaccine has been tentatively scheduled for early December. “We will independently call those balls and strikes on the data and evidence, but we’re going to do so as quickly as possible, consistent with just making sure the science, the evidence, and the law support authorization,” Azar told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.
It’s a record-breaking time frame for a process that normally takes about a decade for an effective and safe vaccine. The fastest-ever vaccine development, mumps, took more than four years and was licensed in 1967. The coronavirus was discovered less than a year ago and has already infected more than 55.6 million people across the globe. READ MORE