FDA panel clears Pfizer covid vaccine for emergency use

A panel of outside advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration voted overwhelmingly on Friday night to recommend emergency-use authorization of the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and its German partner, BioNTech SE against the covid-19 pandemic.
FDA approval is expected to follow within days, clearing the way for the world’s first mass inoculation program on a day that the US death toll from the pandemic hit 3,000, and Israel abandoned a Hanukkah night curfew for stemming contagion. The FDA will next week review a second covid vaccine by Moderna, for which Israel has also placed orders.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on arrival of the first batch of Pfizer vaccines  on Thursday that Israel will be able to vaccinate 60,000 people a day from Dec. 27.

On Thursday, Israel registered 1,615 new coronavirus cases, pushing the total of active cases up to 16,075 and the positivity rate to 2,6pc. In hospital are 316 seriously ill patients, 98 on respirators. Deaths now total 2,961.

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