FDA panel recommends Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for final agency approval

Vaccination shots could start before the end of the year.

Updated: December 11, 2020 - 4:50pm

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An FDA advisory panel on Thursday approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which is expected to lead to final, emergency-use approval within days.

The advisory group voted 7-4 vote, with one abstention, that the shot appears safe and effective against the coronavirus in people 16 and older, according to the Associated. Press. Final approval would likely lead to Americans receiving the vaccination shots before year's end.

The Trump administration says it has 40 million doses of the vaccine ready for distribution. 

On Tuesday, Great Britain began giving the shots to residents. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is a two-shot process. On Wednesday, Canada approved the vaccine.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Monday the vaccine distribution process will begin "within days” of the FDA’s final, emergency approval.