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Updated 12/13/20 at 4:21 p.m. PT: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it approved Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine on Friday evening, with inoculations expected to begin Monday.
Updated 12/11/20 at 11:53 a.m. ET A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) committee voted Thursday to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine for emergency authorization. The FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted 17-4 in favor with one abstention; final FDA approval is expected within days.
Outlets on all sides covered the FDA meeting, allergic reactions to the vaccine in the U.K. and reports of public doubt in the drug's efficacy. Coverage from some left- and center-rated sources expressed concern that federal distribution methods may be inadequate, and that vaccine misinformation may impede a return to normalcy. Some right-rated outlets framed Democrat leaders as hypocritical for supporting the vaccine now after expressing skepticism earlier; others covered a N.Y. state proposition that would require people to be vaccinated.
On the Blog: John Wood Jr. of Braver Angels argues for Americans to pay more attention to upholding standards of nonviolence; President Trump's impact on the news media, especially Fox News, has been massive. What will that mean going forward?; and news outlets on left and right sometimes took different approaches in reporting on actor Elliot Page coming out as transgender last week.
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Snippets from the Left
"With three potential coronavirus vaccines showing promise, and two awaiting authorization from the FDA, state and federal officials have begun announcing ambitious distribution plans to get vaccines to millions of Americans starting as soon as next week. It will take months to reach everyone who wants the shots, but some optimistic Americans are already asking, Will I still have to wear a mask after I'm vaccinated?"
New York Times Editorial Board (Opinion)
"In the coming weeks and months, health institutions across the country — hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, pharmacies, health departments — will face the unprecedented challenge of administering several entirely novel vaccines, some with stringent and complicated storage requirements, in the middle of a raging pandemic, to a weary populace that tends to be public-health averse in the best of times."
Snippets from the Right
"New York State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat who represents New York’s 67th Assembly District, quietly introduced a bill on Dec. 4 that would require “COVID-19 vaccine to be administered in accordance with the department of health’s COVID-19 vaccination administration program and mandates vaccination in certain situations.”"
The Daily Caller (Analysis)
"After months of expressing distrust of a coronavirus vaccine produced under the Trump administration, both President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are now endorsing the vaccine. Many Americans have expressed skepticism about taking a vaccine. Gallup found that in September, just half of Americans were willing to get a coronavirus vaccine. That number has been steadily rising, however – 58% of Americans were willing to take the vaccine in October, and 63% were willing to take it in November, the Gallup poll showed."
Snippets from the Center
"The Food and Drug Administration could vote as soon as Thursday to approve a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer for emergency use authorization in the United States. Speaking to NPR this week, FDA head Dr. Stephen Hahn reiterated the government's commitment to vaccine safety. But public opinion polls suggest many Americans are still skeptical of coronavirus vaccines, and misinformation about them has been spreading online."
"Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issued a nonbinding recommendation for the top tier of vaccine recipients: front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, like nursing homes...But after that, it gets more complicated. Should older Americans be prioritized, even if they are able to isolate? What about younger, lower-risk individuals whose jobs present opportunity for exposure? Where do teachers fit into the equation, or individuals who are incarcerated or living in a homeless shelter?"