A key FDA panel recommended the approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on Thursday (17-4; 1 abstaining), marking the last step before the FDA can give its final approval for the vaccine’s use and distribution. The CDC also recommended that health care workers and nursing-home residents should be eligible to receive the vaccine first before anyone else. But states can distrbute the doses however it chooses.
As the NHL and NHLPA continue to hammer out details for next season, the league is reportedly planning the private purchase of a COVID-19 vaccine before puck drop next year. The report comes from Canadian hockey insider John Shannon who said that the vaccine will be available to everyone in the league, not just players.
“Source confirms that the NHL is planning the private purchase of a COVID vaccine for all constituents involved in the potential upcoming season,” Shannon tweeted.
Source confirms that the NHL is planning the private purchase of a COVID vaccine for all constituents involved in the potential upcoming season.
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) December 10, 2020
Shannon later added that the NHL would only do so when “it’s available for private purchase” and “the league also is adamant they would not jump the line to do so.”
The NHL is interested in securing vaccine when and if it’s available for private purchase.
Is it at this point? — no.
The league also is adamant they would not jump the line to do so.
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) December 11, 2020
If Pfizer’s vaccine is approved by the FDA — which is expected and could come as early as Friday — distribution could begin within 24 hours and possibly be available to the NHL before its possible start date of January 13, 2021.
Initial doses will be limited as production ramps up and it’s predicted it could take months — well into the summer at least — to vaccinate every American who wishes to do so.
On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that some health officials support the early vaccination of athletes as it could provide its effectiveness and inspire more Americans to have it done.
ESPN revealed that the NBA is currently crafting a policy on vaccinations and could become the first North American sports league to distribute them to players and coaches.
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