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TRURO, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: A staff nurse at the Royal Cornwall Hospital prepares to administer Covid-19 vaccinations as the hospital began their vaccination programme on December 9, 2020 in Truro, United Kingdom. More than 50 hospitals across England were designated as covid-19 vaccine hubs, the first stage of what will be a lengthy vaccination campaign. NHS staff, over-80s, and care home residents will be among the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which recently received emergency approval from the country's health authorities. (Photo by Hugh Hastings/Getty Images)

Earlier today, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended the approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in people over 16 years old, according to CNBC. This is the last step before the FDA gives the final “go-ahead” to distribute the first doses throughout the United States.

USA Today reports that the panel came to their decision following an eight-hour public hearing, voting 17 to 4 with 1 abstention, to recommend the vaccine, which is called BNT162b2.

The FDA is expected to accept the recommendation from the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which plays a key role in approving flu and other vaccines in the U.S. While the FDA doesn’t have to follow the advisory committee’s recommendation, according to CNBC, it often does.

The FDA could grant emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine as early as Friday.  On Sunday, an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meets to make a final recommendation on who should get the vaccine first, as it will be in short supply.