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Solving COVID

Panel votes to recommend FDA approve Pfizer vaccine for emergency use

An independent advisory panel voted on Thursday in favor of recommending that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, Stat News reports.

The 17-4 vote came after a lengthy meeting in which the panel of experts discussed whether the benefits of the vaccine candidate outweighed the risks for patients age 16 and up, reports NBC News. The vote was a key step on the path to FDA approval — while the FDA isn't obligated to follow the panel's recommendation, it is widely expected to authorize the vaccine and allow for the nation's existing doses to be distributed to priority groups, namely health care workers and long-term care facility residents. The Pfizer vaccine has already been approved for use in the U.K., Saudi Arabia, Canada and Bahrain. Read more at Stat News and NBC News.