Today, the United Kingdom became the first country to grant approval for the distribution of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
The decision comes just one day after the CDC voted to recommend health care workers and long-term care residents receive the vaccine once approved by the FDA.
As the country waits for the Food and Drug Administration to approve Pfizer and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, infectious disease experts are hoping for similar action in the country like the United Kingdom.
"The approval is welcomed and it actually shows a template which is a regulatory agency utilized to really fast-track the approval of a vaccine," said Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, an associate professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine. "The Pfizer vaccine already had a very good track record from the earlier clinical trials and obviously didn't know how well it could be performed."
Dr. Ogbuagu believes a lot of the ground-work was completed by the U.K.'s regulatory agency who began studying the Pfizer Vaccine as it started to go through the different stages through approval.
"There was a lot of assessment of manufacturing and controls and validations of the vaccine itself," said Dr. Ogbuagu.
On Tuesday, the CDC's advisory committee on immunization practices voted to allow health care providers and those inside long-term care facilities to receive the vaccine first under the phase 1A distribution plan.
"I think that's excellent that a vaccine is going to be out there for health care workers and long-term care residents to receive," said Dr. Rob Fuller, the Chief of Service of Emergency Department at UCONN Health. "I'm going to be first in line."
Dr. Fuller believes a vaccine will allow health care workers to better focus on helping COVID19 patients.
"The state of Connecticut is having trouble keeping up with the number of nurses and doctors to care for the patients that are in the hospitals and if we get sick with COVID and need to spend 10 days away from work, there's' no one to backfill us," said Dr. Fuller.
The FDA is set to review the Pfizer vaccine next week on Dec. 10, and the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 17.