RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina is expected to receive 85,800 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the first shipment, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday.
There are two parts for the authorization process for a vaccine.
The first part is an independent advisory committee for the Food and Drug Administration that reviews data from the clinical trials to determine if the vaccine is safe and can prevent people from getting COVID-19, according to NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.
The FDA will make a decision later Thursday on whether or not to approve the emergency use of the vaccine.
The second part of the authorization process is another independent advisory committee for the Centers for Disease Control that reviews the data from the clinical trial. The CDC advisory committee will then decide who gets the vaccine, including who should not get the vaccine.
The CDC advisory board is scheduled to meet throughout the weekend, with a decision expected by Sunday, Cohen said.
Once the FDA authorizes the vaccine, it will be shipped to 11 hospitals in North Carolina, Cohen said.
The 11 hospitals have the cold storage needed to preserve the vaccine while waiting for the second step, which is the final recommendation from the CDC, according to Cohen.
Cohen said if the CDC’s decision were to be delayed beyond Sunday, the 11 hospitals have the capacity to safely store the vaccine for a longer period of time.
When the vaccine becomes available, it will be free to everyone, according to Cohen.
NCDHHS plans to share data about vaccines and who is getting the vaccine on Dec. 22.
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