US panel approves use of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine paving way for rollout

Credit: AP

A United States government advisory panel has endorsed the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, paving the way for its mass rollout across the country.

The jab must first be approved by the American drugs regulator - the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - which is expected to follow the recommendation issued on Thursday by its expert advisers.

It comes as the US reported its highest one-day total death toll from Covid, recording 3,124 Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday.

The figure is higher than the number of Americans killed during the D-Day landings, and surpassing the death toll from the 9/11 terror attacks.

President Trump has repeatedly made the false claim the US has higher case numbers because it tests more people. Credit: AP

The advisory group concluded that the vaccine appears safe and effective against Covid-19 in people aged 16 and older.

The group voted 17-4 with one abstention.

Once the FDA reaches its decision on the vaccine in the coming days, millions of batches could be shipped across the USA in the biggest vaccination campaign in the country's history.

If approved, the States would become the fourth country in the world to start a Covid-19 vaccination programme using the Pfizer/BioNTech jab - behind Britain, Bahrain and Canada.