A US government advisory panel convened on Thursday to decide whether to endorse mass use the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to help counter the coronavirus pandemic that has killed close to 300,000 Americans and more than 1.5 million worldwide.
The meeting of outside advisers to the Food and Drug Administration represented the next-to-last hurdle before the expected start of the biggest vaccination campaign in US history.
If approved the US would become the third country in the West to approve Pfizer's vaccine. Canadian health officials on Wednesday approved the vaccine, following only the United Kingdom's emergency authorization last week. Canadians could begin receiving the inoculation against the coronavirus as early as next week.
Related discussion: Surging coronavirus cases and new vaccines
Despite a possible light at the end of the tunnel, social distancing will still be critical for some time to come. And experts continue to recommend wearing masks.
So what is the latest scientific information about airborne COVID-19 transmission? And how might that information impact strategies around reopening schools and workplaces?
Related: Do offices have a future?
As part of our regular series of conversations about the coronavirus presented in partnership with Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, The World’s Elana Gordon moderated a discussion with healthy buildings expert Joseph Allen.
Every week, more than 2 million listeners tune into our broadcast and follow our digital coverage like this story, which is available to read for free thanks to charitable contributions from listeners like you. But less than 1% of our audience supports our program directly. From now through the end of the year, every gift will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous donor, which means your gift will help us unlock a $67,000 challenge match.
Will you join our growing list of loyal supporters and double your impact today?