Why the FDA’s Pfizer Hearing This Week Is So Important

The meeting has significant implications for Covid-19 vaccine approval stateside

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
  • Will there be any clarity or hints around protection against transmission? Right now data suggests that the vaccines provide protection against Covid-19 illness, but it’s unclear whether a vaccinated person could still spread the virus. Read more about that question here.
  • What will happen to people in the clinical trials who got a placebo? There’s debate over when trial volunteers who did not receive the vaccine might be able to get vaccinated. Read more about that here.
  • Will there be discussion over whether people who have been infected with Covid-19 should get the vaccine? Data suggests natural immunity is not safer than a vaccine, but there’s some interesting discussion here.
  • What are all the vaccine side effects and what are the risks, if any? Are there any concerns for people with preexisting conditions?
  • Are there any hints on how long protection can last? There are questions remaining over whether people can get a Covid-19 vaccine once and be done, or if people will need a booster.
  • Will there be discussion on availability? How many doses can Pfizer provide and when? This will help states and individuals get a sense of vaccination timelines.



A blog from Medium for Covid-19 news, advice, and commentary.

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Alexandra Sifferlin

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that