Following the release of more data from its Covid-19 vaccine Phase 3 clinical trial, the drugmaker Pfizer said Wednesday that it expects to submit an application for what’s called emergency use authorization to the Food and Drug Administration “within days.”

Another drugmaker, Moderna, has also said it aims to submit an application in the coming weeks. Both companies have announced preliminary results from their vaccine trials showing extremely high levels of efficacy.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Submitting emergency use authorization, or EUA, applications moves a potential coronavirus vaccine one step closer to patients, and experts say it’s possible for Americans to start receiving shots by the end of December.

Generally, the path of a vaccine from its beginnings in a laboratory to a person’s arm takes years to navigate. The speed with which manufacturers and regulators have moved this year is unprecedented.