By Peter Loftus and Jared Hopkins 

A federal vaccine advisory panel voted Tuesday to recommend that health-care workers and residents of long-term care facilities be the first to receive any Covid-19 vaccine doses from the limited supply that will be available initially.

The recommendations from the panel, which advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, apply to about 21 million health-care workers and three million residents of long-term care facilities.

Federal officials have said they expect there will be about 40 million doses available in December. The initial vaccines available are given in two doses three or four weeks apart, so there may be enough for 20 million people to be vaccinated in the early weeks. Supplies are expected to increase during 2021.

U.S. health regulators are expected to decide in the coming weeks whether to authorize the emergency use of two Covid-19 vaccines, one from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE and another from Moderna Inc. The companies have been manufacturing doses but it could take several months to make enough to vaccinate the broader population.

The CDC usually follows the recommendation of its advisory panel, and its decision is expected by the time any shots are authorized. States, which will ultimately decide how to allocate Covid-19 vaccine supplies, have been waiting for the recommendations. States have until Friday to indicate to the federal government where they want their initial doses sent.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 01, 2020 17:59 ET (22:59 GMT)

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