The race to create a reliable and safe COVID-19 vaccine continued Friday after one company asked for emergency use of it’s vaccine.
On Friday, Pfizer said it is asking U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, starting the clock on a process that could bring limited first shots as early as next month and eventually an end to the pandemic -- but not until after a long, hard winter.
“Our work to deliver a safe and effective vaccine has never been more urgent,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.
The action comes days after Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech announced that its vaccine appears 95% effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease in a large, ongoing study.
“Help is on the way,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert said on the eve of Pfizer’s announcement, adding that it’s too early to abandon masks and other protective measures. “We need to actually double down on the public health measures as we’re waiting for that help to come.”
Friday’s filing would set off a chain of events as the FDA and its independent advisers debate if the shots are ready. If so, still another government group will have to decide how the initial limited supplies are rationed out to anxiously awaiting Americans.
Below is information provided by the Florida Department of Health for Friday, Nov. 20.
The Florida Department of Health reported 9,085 new cases on Friday, bringing the state’s overall total to 923,418 cases since March.
The Florida Department of Health on Friday reported 80 people have recently died from COVID-19. As of Friday’s coronavirus report, a total of 18,110 deaths across the state have been related to the coronavirus, a number that includes 221 non-resident deaths in Florida.
State health officials have always maintained that virus fatalities are often delayed in being reported to the FDOH, with some deaths not reported for a month or more.
Currently, there are 3,439 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida as of Friday afternoon, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
The Florida Department of Health reported 226 recent hospitalizations.
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