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UW Health is expecting to begin administering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as early as late next week to staff members.

On Thursday,  a U.S. government advisory panel endorsed Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. Now the vaccine awaits final approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once that happens, millions of doses of the vaccine will be distributed to health care facilities and nursing homes.

Dr. Matt Anderson, Senior Medical Director of Primary Care at UW Health, expects the vaccine will start being administered late next week or the following week.

“Safety is the number one priority, making sure that all the documents, all the requirements, all the smaller final details,” said Anderson. “It’s one thing to have it approved, it’s one thing have it approved and be ready to be operationalized in a safe way. That’s the work you’ll be seeing in the next week or so.”

Once the FDA gives final approval, which is expected to happen in the coming days, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has to finalize a few steps before vaccinations begin.