The coronavirus vaccine rollout has begun

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Hello,

What a weekend! As you likely know by this point, on Friday the Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization for Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine. 

The vaccine left Pfizer's Michigan facility on Sunday and shipped out across the country. Sites are expected to get vaccine doses starting today.

Today in healthcare news:

A nurse prepares to inject staff with the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at Bradley Manor residential care home in Belfast on December 9, 2020.Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images

Pfizer's vaccine authorization means 2.9 million high-risk people will get the shot within days — the first step in a 9-month path to normalcy

  • The FDA has authorized the first coronavirus vaccine in the US, a two-dose regimen from Pfizer and BioNTech.
  • Some frontline healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities could receive the shots in as little as 24 hours, likely on Monday.
  • The US could immunize 20 million people by the end of 2020, but social distancing and mask wearing will need to continue well into 2021. 

Read the full story from Aria Bendix here>>

A nurse prepares a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy's Hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, as the U.K. health authorities rolled out a national mass vaccination program.AP Photo/Frank Augstein

A CDC panel just voted to recommend Pfizer's COVID-19 shot for people 16 years and older

  • A CDC committee recommended the new Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for people 16 years and older during a meeting Saturday.
  • While there's a lot more to learn, particularly on how the vaccine affects people in certain populations like pregnant and lactating women, and people with autoimmune conditions, the panelists agreed its "desirable consequences clearly outweigh undesirable consequences in most settings."
  • The move will help more people get the vaccine covered by insurance, and aligns the agency with the FDA, which just authorized the vaccine for emergency use Friday night. 

Read the full story from Anna Medaris Miller here>>

The co-founder of BioNTech designed the coronavirus vaccine it made with Pfizer in just a few hours over a single day

  • The FDA granted emergency authorization to Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine on Friday evening.
  • The vaccine, which was found to be 95% effective in trials, was designed by BioNTech co-founder Ugur Sahin in one day: January 25. 
  • In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal's podcast, Sahin designed the vaccine in just a few hours.

Read the full story from Susie Neilson here>>

More stories we're reading:

  • Your complete coronavirus vaccine calendar: When Moderna's candidate is likely to get authorized, and when you could receive your Pfizer shot (Business Insider)
  • Sanofi's coronavirus vaccine trial has hit a setback, pushing its potential time to authorization to the second half of 2021 (Stat News)
  • Inside Pfizer's push to develop a vaccine in record time, which included tough deadlines and pushing from its CEO (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Most people with allergies should get Pfizer's coronavirus shot, according to the FDA (Business Insider)
  • Dr. Carlos Araujo-Preza treated COVID-19 patients in Houston. Then he became a victim to the disease. (NBC News)

More vaccine news this week – this time, we'll get more information about what regulators think of Moderna's COVID-19 shots.

Stay tuned, and pass this newsletter along to your friends/colleagues who are also pay attention to every step of the vaccine race. You can subscribe here. 

– Lydia

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