Advisory panel recommends FDA authorizes vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 12:31 AM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 03:31:21-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - An advisory committee made up of medical experts met Thursday virtually and recommended that the FDA authorize the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use for Americans 16 and older.

The vote was 17 to 4.

Hospitals across the San Diego County are preparing their staff and most vulnerable patients for the rollout of the vaccine. They are in the first groups of people to be vaccinated.

The county expects to get 28,275 doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week if it gets FDA approval. The initial shipment of doses is not likely enough to meet the large demand said Dr. Davey Smith, the Chief of infectious diseases and Global Public Health at UC San Diego Health.

"There probably won't be enough for the frontline workers, so we even triage between the frontline workers. So who has the most contact in terms of emergency room workers, nursing staff, those on the front desk, those are the people who should and will get it first, all across the institution," Smith said

The vaccine is expected at a time when COVID-19 infections are on the rise, and ICUs are filling up.

"We have hospital beds available, and ICU beds available," Smith said. "If we hit 100 percent in one unit, we're going to open up something else. We have other outside facilities with tents. We thought through this, through every single scenario. We have people who are not taking a vacation. We have backup upon backups to keep San Diego safe."