- By Pacifc Island Times News Staff
Vaccine's arrival expected by end of week
Now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) is preparing for the vaccines’ arrival within three to five days of its shipment.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) then votes on recommendations for use of the vaccine, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must approve before Guam begins administering the first doses of the vaccines. The ACIP, on Dec. 12, voted 11-0 voted in favor of the interim recommendations for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
“Our team at DPHSS has been preparing for this day,” said DPHSS Director Art San Agustin. “We have been communicating with our federal partners, and our local team, headed by Annette Aguon with the Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, along with our Vaccine Antiviral Prioritization and Policy Committee, is dedicated to the mission at hand—and that is to ensure we get the vaccines to Guam and administered to our people in a fair, equitable, and safe manner.”
DPHSS placed its first order of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines on Dec.4 for 3,900 doses. It has been given authorization to place its next order in the next 24 to 48 hours for a minimum of 3,900 doses.
Additionally, DPHSS has placed its first order of Moderna vaccines, or vaccine B, on Saturday, Dec.12, for a total of 3,800 doses. The Moderna vaccine must still undergo the same review and approval process as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine before distribution begins to states and territories.