Help On The Horizon: COVID-19 Vaccine Approval Expected

A massive distribution plan is set to kick into place as soon as the FDA issues an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. NBC's Sarah Dallof reports.

(NBC News) — With the country’s first COVID-19 vaccine likely just days or even hours from approval Friday, anticipation is building.

The Food and Drug Administration released a statement reading in part it “will rapidly work toward finalization and issuance of an emergency use authorization” one day after an agency advisory panel voted in favor of granting it.

Once approved, UPS and FedEx planes and trucks will mobilize, moving the first doses under the protection of U.S. marshals.

Pfizer, the vaccine’s manufacturer, plans to ship around 2.9 million doses in the first weeks, a painstaking process requiring storage at subzero temperatures.

The first shipments will go to front-line health care workers and some of the nation’s most vulnerable, including nursing home patients.

Widespread distribution is still months away, and the coming weeks are projected to be among the most dangerous and deadly.

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