While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for December 14


 Pfizer vaccines headed to states. The CDC has accepted an advisory committee’s recommendation of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, meaning the shots can now be administered in the United States.

In a statement, CDC Director Robert Redfield said the following:

Last night, I was proud to sign the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation to use Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in people 16 and older. This official CDC recommendation follows Friday’s FDA decision to authorize the emergency use of Pfizer’s vaccine. As COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the U.S., CDC’s recommendation comes at a critical time. Initial COVID-19 vaccination is set to start as early as Monday, and this is the next step in our efforts to protect Americans, reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and help restore some normalcy to our lives and our country.


The CDC also said healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents should be vaccinated first.

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Saturday to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for ages 16 and up.

The committee reviews scientific data and votes on recommendations for vaccine safety and efficacy for groups such as older people, pregnant women, etc. These recommendations are required before shots can happen. The panel recommended the vaccine with 11 in favor, zero against and three recusing due to prior conflicts.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE Friday, making it available for emergency use to patients aged 16 and older.

In clinical trials, the vaccine was 95% effective at preventing illness and showed no short-term safety issues.

The first trucks carrying the vaccine left a Michigan manufacturing plant earlier Sunday. Shipments of the Pfizer vaccine set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in American history at a critical juncture of the pandemic that has killed 1.6 million and sickened 71 million worldwide according to data complied by Johns Hopkins University.

When will Hoosiers get the vaccine? The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted on Saturday to recommend the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 16 and up.

The committee reviews scientific data and votes on recommendations for vaccine safety and efficacy. Before a vaccine is allowed to be administered, those recommendations are required.

It was recommended in a unanimous vote, with 11 people in favor, zero against it and three recusing due to prior conflicts.

Just one day prior, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE., making it available for emergency use to patients 16 and older.

“We’re very excited,” said Dr. Brian Dixon, director of public health and informatics at Regenstrief Institute. “Our goal in public health is really prevention. We really want to keep people healthy and keep them from getting sick in the first place.

“So to have a vaccine that will prevent people from developing COVID, or developing complications from COVID, is very exciting for us because it means we can keep a lot of people healthy and safe.”

Dixon believes the State of Indiana could see the vaccine arrive as early as Monday, if not, possibly sooner.

Another vaccine in the works by German drug company. German pharmaceutical company CureVac says it has enrolled the first participant in the phase 3 clinical study of its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The Tuebingen-based company says the study is expected to include more than 35,000 participants at sites in Europe and Latin America.

“With the start of the pivotal Phase 2b/3 study, we have reached another important milestone in the development of our vaccine candidate, CVnCoV,” Franz-Werner Haas, the CEO of CureVac, said in a statement Monday.

The company expects first results of its phase 3 study by the end of March.

CureVac began development of its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate last January.

President reverses decision to prioritize vaccine for White House officials. President Donald Trump said Sunday that he was reversing an administration directive to vaccinate top government officials against COVID-19, while public distribution of the shot is limited to front-line health workers and people in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Trump made the announcement hours after his administration confirmed that senior U.S. officials, including some White House aides who work in close proximity to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, would be offered coronavirus vaccines as soon as this week under federal continuity of government plans.

“People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary,” Trump said in a tweet. “I have asked that this adjustment be made. I am not scheduled to take the vaccine, but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time.”

It was not immediately clear what the scale of the vaccination program was supposed to be, according to two people briefed on the matter, or what effect Trump’s tweet would have on the government’s efforts to protect top leadership.

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