First batch of COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Massachusetts early next week

Massachusetts

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The FDA’s advisory committee has recommended the approval of Pfizer’s vaccine for emergency use in the United States.

Next, the FDA will decide whether to accept the recommendation, which is very likely. Once accepted, doses of the vaccine could be in Massachusetts as soon as next week.

An FDA advisory panel has voted 17-4 in favor of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. The first approval for the first COVID-19 vaccine comes exactly nine months after Gov. Charlie Baker first declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts due to the virus.

The first shipment of the vaccine to Massachusetts, which is a little more than 59,000 doses, is expected to arrive early next week. More than 300,000 doses are expected by the end of the month.

Healthcare workers are expected to be among the first group eligible for the vaccine. 22News spoke with Alicia Gilmore who is part of the first group who said she’d rather wait before getting vaccinated.

“They don’t have the long trials of testing it and they don’t know the long-term effects. I’d rather wait and see if any do pop up and arrive,” Gilmore said.

22News spoke with Dr. Daniel Skiest at Baystate Health said having the United Kingdom approve the vaccine first could work in our favor.

“We’ll learn from them they had a little head start so we’ll do what works and what doesn’t work well. People will have side effects mostly just a sore arm maybe a small fever for a couple of days but nothing major,” Skiest said.

The same FDA advisory panel will meet to discuss the emergency use of the Moderna vaccine next Thursday.

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