The US Just Authorized Its First Vaccine in the Historic Fight Against the Coronavirus Pandemic

A nurse administers the Pfizer vaccine at a health center in Wales.Pool/i-Images/Zuma

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Update: Dec. 11, 9:30 p.m. ET: The FDA granted emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine Friday night, in a potentially historic turning point for the fight against the global pandemic. Earlier Friday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn that he should resign if the vaccine was not approved by the end of the day. The approval will immediately pave a way for immunizing at least some of the most needy demographics in a country currently beset by rocketing COVID infection rates, with daily fatality rates rivaling that of 9/11.

In a major milestone that brings the United States one step closer to the end of the coronavirus pandemic, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended on Thursday that the FDA grant an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine.

The group of scientists and doctors voted 17–4 in favor of the vaccine’s approval, with one abstaining. The FDA is expected to approve the vaccine within days, the New York Times reports, and within 24 hours after approval 6.4 million doses will begin to be distributed from warehouses.

Pfizer’s vaccine is estimated to be about 95 percent effective, and it has already been approved in the United Kingdom and Canada. It’s not yet clear how many doses of Pfizer’s will be immediately available or when most Americans can expect to be vaccinated. The Moderna vaccine, another option, is under review by the FDA.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate