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The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date.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.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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