The first coronavirus vaccinations could take place on December 12, according to the head of the federal vaccine development program

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Vaccine expert Dr Moncef Slaoui speaks in the White House rose garden on November 13 mandel ngan / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The leader of the U.S. effort to produce a coronavirus vaccine has said the first immunizations could take place on December 12.

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is scheduled to meet on December 10 to discuss Pfizer Inc.’s request for emergency use authorization for its developing COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer PFE, + 1.40% and its German partner BioNTech BNTX, + 9.62% recently announced that the vaccine appears to be 95% effective in preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease in a large, ongoing study.

Dr Moncef Slaoui, head of “Operation Warp Speed,” the coronavirus vaccination program, said it was expected to ship vaccines to states within 24 hours of scheduled FDA approval.

Slaoui told CNN he expected vaccinations to start on the second day after approval, December 12.