Pfizer has applied for emergency use of its Covid-19 vaccine in the US, meaning the treatment could be rolled out as early as next month.
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech submitted an emergency use authorisation request to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is also seeking approval elsewhere around the world.
It comes just days after the pharma reported its vaccine was 95 per cent effective with no major safety concerns.
If the vaccine is approved in the US, it could be used to treat high-risk patients in the country as early as next month.
Pfizer and BioNTech expected to produce up to 50m doses of the vaccine globally by the end of the year and up to 1.3bn by the end of 2021.
The companies said they expected the FDA to grant approval by mid-December, adding that they were ready to distribute the vaccine within hours of receiving authorisation.
Shares in Pfizer and BioNTech rose two per cent and five per cent respectively on increased optimism that an end to the pandemic could be in sight.
The UK has already ordered 40m doses of Pfizer’s vaccine. However, it has not yet been approved for use by British regulators.
An FDA advisory committee is planning to meet on 8 December to discuss the vaccine, a source told Reuters, though these dates could change.
The final trial data for the vaccine showed it provided a similar level of protection across different ages and ethnicities.