ABC News Live Update: FDA on track to approve Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Plus, the latest on the imminent nor’easter and its effect on holiday shopping, and how soaring demand for Christmas trees has created a shortage for suppliers.
9:48 | 12/15/20

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Transcript for ABC News Live Update: FDA on track to approve Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Hi everyone I'm Diane Macedo thanks for streaming with us in today's update the FDA is on track to authorize the Madeira vaccine this week. Reporting it is similar in safety and efficacy to the Pfizer vaccine. There will be a virtual public hearing and vote by an independent board on the Dennis vaccine this Thursday making it possible for millions of doses to be sent out next week. That is news comes as health care workers are getting their first doses of advisors cove in nineteen vaccine. Operation warp speed hopes more than fifteen million Americans will be vaccinated by the end of January with access to the general population by march. On GMA this morning doctor Anthony fast she encouraged Americans to get the vaccine as soon as it is available to them. The speed was not at all at the sacrifice of safety and so people understandably. Skeptical about the speed. But we have to keep emphasizing speed means the science was extraordinary that got us here. A record 1101000. People are currently in the hospital with the virus more than 171000. People in the US died from public nineteen. In just the last week alone. The Electoral College has officially sealed president elect Joseph Biden's victory in the 21 election. For the first time this morning senate majority leader Republican Mitch McConnell acknowledged Biden as the president elect. The demands of us had hoped the presidential election would yield. Different results. The Electoral College. Professionals. Sorted out wanted to write lawyers present electoral body. President elect is no stranger to the set up its she's devoted himself to public service for many years. Also wanted to grow joins the vice president elect are calling from California senator Harris. Biden addressed the nation last night calling for unity an urging president from. That it's time to turn the page and start dealings. But president something is still refusing to acknowledge he lost the election. Meanwhile attorney general bill Barr has announced he will be stepping down before Christmas president trump said on Twitter he and Barr have had a quote very good relationship. The bar has come under scrutiny from the president after saying the Department of Justice did not find any evidence of widespread voter fraud. And one of Europe's most active volcanoes has erupted again. Giant bursts of lava came from Italy's Mount Etna on Sunday night. The volcano also spewed smoke for more than twelve hours authorities say people in nearby towns were not endanger. And a major winter storm is headed for the north east and threatening to disrupt shipping industry. The nor'easter comes as carriers try to distribute the first doses of the cove a nineteen vaccine as quickly as possible. While also keeping up with this year's record breaking holiday demand here's GO but he tennis. This morning the trifecta of challenges for shipping companies from coast to coast. An unprecedented. Vaccine distribution effort record breaking shipments and now that massive winter storm hitting the northeast. Do you think we've ever seen and are shipping season just visiting. No. Not my lifetime and not that I could imagine. Today is the last day to get your ground shipments out in time for Christmas delivery the supply chain expert Tim crouch says even that may not happen. The pandemic creating a massive surge in online shopping. Say you're looking at a more than 40% increase just an online sickness. Just don't want Maceda is currently the traditional. In 2% increase. He. An estimated three billion packages will be delivered this holiday season dramatically more than last year's 2.2 billion both UPS and FedEx had already suspended money back guarantees for on time delivery the companies collectively hiring a 170000. More employees to get through what they're calling the ship of thought. Now all lies on that major nor'easter affecting more than 55 million people UPS which has been shipping 34 million packages a day telling ABC news. Our in house meteorologist team continues to monitor the weather and will make contingency plans to route the packages around the store. Get your packages out now and there's. A reality yeah. It. You ordered online. Can be. And if you miss today's ground shipping deadline your best bet is to select that more expensive air shipping but again Diane I can't stress this enough. That does not guarantee that your packages will arrive on time. Right we'll have to be patient for the holidays GO Benitez thank you. And ninja Z has been tracking that winter storm forest ginger what's the latest on the timeline of this nor'easter. That AM Wednesday night through Thursday morning driving will be the biggest impacts in this really lays out very clearly North Carolina to Maine on alert but that red area anywhere from Baltimore and Philadelphia to New York City and close to Hartford that's where the major impacts or even extreme impacts. In parts of the Poconos sex closer to Harrisburg will be felt self. The storm already started it started draft some snow in the Rockies Utah four to five inches some of the highways seeing issues there Denver only mentioned that he had slight Nazi had inches. On the roads there it's now a storm. We'll kind of who yelled together it'll grab a lot of moisture and it rides at the coast and here's where it's going to be a problem Washington DC it starts. After the noon hour and it is a short window for snow before it changes to a mix and then rain and so that's gonna cut down totals from. Say Delaware and Washington DC through southern New Jersey watches that pink line which is the mix stays way to close for comfort to Philadelphia and New York City what that and that Armenians when you're just on the northern side of that that's for the heaviest snow totals were talking a foot plots. We'll end up. And it will be cut down C could end up seeing kind of like us South Shore of Long Island getting weighing less than say the Bronx and that's how these coastal storms often sent up. I think he feared heart hurt or your Newburgh. Or if you're Moorestown New Jersey you go with snout but from there north that's the snow area and then from yourself it's just gonna be really tight with that line. Still anticipate a half foot or more. Either way when you start getting into that type of snow total it's gonna make the roads Iraq. On how could this even in Massachusetts where you could end up with say six to twelve inches. You're going to have wind we're done my best to fifteen miles per hour so by Thursday morning as we start to send it out of New England. Into Thursday afternoon it really turns into how breezy it is. And how cold the wind chills. With some icy roads left over will be in a single digits and teens going into the weekend thank. Turn eighteen disease thank you. And Christmas is just ten days away now and the demand for trees is soaring but first some Mets making them hard to find. Today Norman has some tips. There is a classic symbol of the holiday season there. Christmas tree what their largest bus isn't full of green needles were small and Bayer. And ran right. He can't meet the moon but this year it's harder than ever get your hands on one minute she's Christmas different. The pandemic increasing freight costs of shipping trees as demand is at its peak. Leaving some empty handed and I mean for that perfect tree. At Boyd Christmas tree farm in North Carolina Daryn Nicholson says ain't been sold out of trees for more than two weeks. You've got him at second goal but the reported shortage in trees began long before the pandemic. Student center to end years growers Sri Seidler. It's about. Six or to treat ready for your home. So. Grower have to make the decision. Almost ten years out. While supplies may seem low the National Christmas Tree Association assures us. Trees are available some places might and now we know there are trees out there. It's are making sure that you're taking care of your tree starts before you even get it you've got to make sure that you caught the problem for the trees can get. As much water as possible keep them away from any direct sunlight so space heaters or radiators should be a good distance away. And you've got to make sure that you are wandering the streets they can take one to two liters of water a day. That is a whole lot to make sure church street is is well fed with water so it doesn't lose all of its needles on the big mass Diane. All are you buy a fake one pull it out of storage every year plug it in the lights already on it. Ready ago. -- Norman thank you. And nudge does it for this ABC news live update I'm Diane Macedo. Thanks for joining us and remember ABC news live this year for you all day with the latest news context and analysis. Up to evacuate 3 PM eastern with Terry Moran. For the breakdown hunt.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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