A panel of outside advisers to the U.S. FDA on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to endorse emergency use of Pfizer Inc’s coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for the agency to authorize the shot for a nation that has lost more than 285,000 lives to COVID-19. The FDA is widely expected to authorize the vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech SE, for emergency use in the United States within days. Distribution and inoculations are expected to begin almost immediately thereafter. The committee voted 17-4 that the known benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks of taking the shot for individuals 16 and older, with 1 member of the panel abstaining. Pfizer had asked that the two-dose vaccine be approved for use in people aged 16 to 85. Several advisory panel members discussed whether 16 and 17 year olds should be included in the recommendation because the risk to these individuals is low, and the evidence in the trial was scant. In the end, they voted on the question as put them by the FDA, which included 16 to 17 year olds.