BALTIMORE (WMAR) — It's been 10 months since the identification of COVID-19 and already, there are three vaccines with late-stage trials showing they are highly effective. Oxford-AstraZeneca is the latest, along with Pfizer and Moderna.
"I think what we’ve seen is really truly remarkable," said Dr. William Moss.
Pfizer has formally asked for emergency use and Moderna expects to seek that authorization within weeks.
Emergency use authorization is something the FDA can grant before the final testing is fully complete, taking into account protection and the safety record.
FDA advisers are meeting on December 10 to look over the evidence.
"What we expect is that there will be an emergency use authorization approval shortly after that and because the vaccine manufacturing has been scaled up and started concurrent with these phase three trials, that there will be vaccines available shortly after that," said Moss.
Moss is the executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
He expects some doses to be available by the end of the year.
Gov. Larry Hogan said his vaccine distribution plan has been approved so they can start getting ready for the first doses.
"We don’t know exactly how many or exactly when. We just know as they come in, we’re gonna prioritize the people that need them the most," said Hogan.
That includes people in nursing homes and health care workers. Hogan said they are also preparing for the unique storage requirements. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines need to be stored at freezer temperatures, or colder.
"We have the cold storage capability, dry ice capability and we are doing new contracts, emergency procurement for all of those things so we are absolutely ready," said Hogan.
Emergency use isn’t the same as full approval. Anyone offered an emergency vaccination must get a “fact sheet” describing potential benefits and risks before going through with the shot.