The FDA approves Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

BOSTON — The Food and Drug Administration announced Friday night that it has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

Seventeen of the 22 advisory committee members voted to recommend the vaccine.

The next step in the process is getting a similar recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which is set to meet Saturday. If the CDC approves it, about 20 million Americans could be vaccinated in the next few weeks.

When the vaccines are shipped out, Massachusetts is expected to receive 180,000 of them by the end of the month. About one-third of that total could be in the Bay State in a few days.

The vaccines will travel hundreds of miles from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Logan Airport in Boston. A United States Marshal will escort each shipment from the airport to hospitals across Massachusetts.

Each crate of vaccines will include a radio, a GPS tracker and a special device that monitors temperature to ensure the doses stay at least 90 degrees below zero.

Cambridge-based company Acme Dry Ice is on stand-by ready to deliver dry ice to 40 hospitals across Massachusetts if they need it.

“Some hospitals are going to have freezers. Some hospitals will be using dry ice because only so many freezers could be made in such a short period of time,” said Acme Dry Ice owner Marc Sevenor.

120,000 Moderna vaccines are set to arrive the week of Christmas.

The FDA is holding a news conference Saturday to discuss Pfizer’s vaccine and answer questions. An FDA panel is set to discuss Moderna’s vaccine next week.

RELATED: Hospitals prep for vaccine shipments

Biogen meeting in Boston linked to as many as 300,000 COVID-19 cases

Comments on this article