Second Covid Vaccine Ready for US Approval
A second coronavirus vaccine is nearing emergency approval in the US after it was endorsed by a panel of experts.
The head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said his agency would move quickly to authorise the Moderna vaccine, allowing the company to begin shipping millions of doses. It comes days after the US began its largest ever immunisation campaign with the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.
The US has recorded more Covid-19 cases and deaths than any other country.
Earlier this week, the death toll passed 300,000.
The advisory panel on Thursday voted 20-0 with one abstention that the benefits of the Moderna vaccine outweigh the risks for those aged 18 and over. The same committee last week backed the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, leading to its authorisation for emergency use the following day.
Following the panel’s endorsement, FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said his agency had informed Moderna that it would work “rapidly” towards issuing emergency use authorisation.
Regulators reported earlier this week that the Moderna vaccine was safe and 94% effective.
The US has agreed to purchase 200 million doses, and six million could be ready to ship as soon as the vaccine gets FDA approval.