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Dec. 10, 2020, 5:55 p.m. EST

Medical experts vote in favor of FDA authorization of BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine candidate

Jaimy Lee

A group of independent medical experts on Thursday voted 17-4 in favor of the Food and Drug Administration granting an emergency authorization to BioNTech and Pfizer Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. 

Shares of BioNTech (NAS:BNTX) were up 1.8% in after-hours trading on Thursday, while Pfizer’s (NYS:PFE) stock also gained 1.8%.

The ball is in now in the FDA’s court. The regulator is not required to follow the recommendation of the members of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee but often does.

Federal officials have said they expect the regulator to make a decision on the vaccine within days. BioNTech and Pfizer’s vaccine has already received authorization in Bahrain, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

During an all-day meeting held remotely on Thursday, medical experts, FDA officials, Pfizer executives, and members of the public discussed the risks and benefits of the experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

At the end of the day, the committee voted on one question:

Some of the key points of discussion during the meeting included:

So far this year, shares of Pfizer have jumped 13.1%, BioNTech’s stock has soared 269.3%. The S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) has gained 13.7% since the start of the year.

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.