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Silver Spring, MD— An F-D-A panel is recommending emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The decision clears the way for the FDA to grant emergency approval, paving the way for millions of Americans to get vaccinated to protect themselves from the coronavirus that has spread around the world.

Scientists originally estimated it would take between 18 months and two years to get a vaccine approved, and said it may take longer. The first people to be vaccinated will be health care workers and those most at risk, including patients in long-term senior care facilities.

One of the biggest challenges with the Pfizer vaccine is it must be stored in ultracold temperatures. Keeping it at about minus-100 degrees Fahrenheit will be difficult in some of the remote areas of the world.

The other major challenge is making the vaccine. The company reported earlier this month it would only be able to distribute about half of what it originally said it could because of supply chain constraints. The company originally planned to distribute 100 million doses by the end of this year. They lowered that to 50 million in November.

The company still plans to make one-point-three billion doses by the end of 2021.