The "emergency use" designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will mean that the treatments are still considered "experimental" and will require informed consent from recipients. However, preliminary data from human trials found both vaccines to be more than 90% effective — far above the levels many experts had predicted.
Impending early use of these vaccines, however, is unlikely to spare the U.S. a harsh winter in the grips of the pandemic, according to experts. Confirmed COVID cases and deaths have been surging in most parts of the country, including Wisconsin, which recorded 7,090 new cases and 92 deaths on Tuesday.
"We're anticipating emergency use authorization will be given within the next few weeks," said Andrew D. Badley, who leads the COVID-19 task force at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.