Five U.S. agencies have started telling employees they could get Covid vaccine shots in as little as 8 weeks

Vials of coronavirus illness (COVID-19) vaccine candidate BNT162b2 are sorted at a Pfizer facility in Puurs, Belgium in an undated nonetheless picture from video.

Pfizer | Reuters

Five federal agencies have started telling employees they could obtain Pfizer or Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine in as little as eight weeks as the U.S. prepares to distribute the doubtless life-saving doses throughout the nation, in line with an individual with first-hand information of the plan.

Essential federal employees could be among the many first teams of Americans to get inoculated towards the coronavirus after the nation’s health-care employees, in line with the Centers for Disease Control’s vaccination program “interim playbook.” The plan lists important employees, together with the aged and different extremely susceptible teams, in the primary section of its vaccine distribution plan, which hasn’t been finalized but and could change.

Diplomats on the State Department who’re 70 and older or in any other case in a susceptible inhabitants group would possibly qualify for early vaccination, stated the particular person, who requested to not be named as a result of neither corporations’ vaccines have been licensed and the distribution plans are nonetheless being drafted.

The timing relies upon closely on how briskly the Food and Drug Administration can clear both corporations’ vaccines for emergency use. Pfizer, which developed its vaccine with German pharmaceutical firm BioNTech, stated they are submitting their utility a while Friday and Moderna is anticipated to quickly comply with go well with.

If both firm’s vaccine is not licensed by the FDA, it could delay that timing, the particular person stated. How rapidly the vaccine could be distributed additionally will depend on a wide range of different elements, together with manufacturing and availability of provides.

The CDC lists the agencies that may obtain the doses straight from the federal authorities. Those embody: the Bureau of Prisons, Department of Defense, Department of State, Indian Health Service and Veterans Health Administration.

The Bureau of Prisons is working with the CDC and the “public-private partnership established by the federal government, known as Operation Warp Speed (OWS), to ensure the BOP is prepared to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine once it becomes available, spokesperson Emery Nelsen said in a statement.

Representatives at the other agencies either declined to comment or weren’t immediate available. Representatives at the Department of Health and Human Services, FDA and CDC didn’t immediately have a comment.

The FDA process is expected to take a few weeks, and an advisory committee meeting to review the vaccine has been tentatively scheduled for early December. Some Americans could get their first dose of the vaccine in a few month.

If Pfizer’s utility is OK’d by the FDA, the vaccine will probably be very restricted and rolled out in phases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine playbook, health-care employees would get the vaccine first, adopted by the aged, folks with underlying well being situations and different important employees, like those that work in authorities.

CNBC’s Amanda Macias and Will Feuer contributed to this report.

This is a growing story. Please test again for updates.

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