Watch Live: FDA Advisory Panel Meets Today to Vote on Whether to Recommend Approval of Pfizer's Covid Vaccine

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A Food and Drug Administration panel is meeting Thursday to vote on whether to recommend the approval of Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

Before the vote from the agency's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, the independent group of medical experts will assess Pfizer's clinical trial data and offer their opinions on the vaccine, including whether the benefits outweigh the risks for emergency use.

The FDA isn't required to follow the advisory group's advice, but it often does.

A recommendation from the advisory committee is the last step before the FDA is likely to give the final OK to distribute the potentially lifesaving doses throughout the United States. The vaccine would be the first approved for use in the U.S.

Read CNBC's live updates to see the latest news on the Covid -19 outbreak.

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