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(NewsNation Now) — The CDC has accepted an advisory committee’s recommendation of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, meaning the shots can now be administered in the United States.

In a statement, CDC Director Robert Redfield said the following:

Last night, I was proud to sign the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation to use Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in people 16 and older. This official CDC recommendation follows Friday’s FDA decision to authorize the emergency use of Pfizer’s vaccine. As COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the U.S., CDC’s recommendation comes at a critical time. Initial COVID-19 vaccination is set to start as early as Monday, and this is the next step in our efforts to protect Americans, reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and help restore some normalcy to our lives and our country.

Robert redfield, cdc director

The CDC also said healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents should be vaccinated first.

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Saturday to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for ages 16 and up.

The committee reviews scientific data and votes on recommendations for vaccine safety and efficacy for groups such as older people, pregnant women, etc. These recommendations are required before shots can happen. The panel recommended the vaccine with 11 in favor, zero against and three recusing due to prior conflicts.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE Friday, making it available for emergency use to patients aged 16 and older.

In clinical trials, the vaccine was 95% effective at preventing illness and showed no short-term safety issues.

The first trucks carrying the vaccine left a Michigan manufacturing plant earlier Sunday. Shipments of the Pfizer vaccine set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in American history at a critical juncture of the pandemic that has killed 1.6 million and sickened 71 million worldwide according to data complied by Johns Hopkins University.

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