Daily US Times: A second Covid-19 vaccine is nearing emergency approval in the United States after it was endorsed by a panel of experts. The Moderna vaccine would be the second approved Covid vaccine in the USA.
The head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said his agency would move quickly to authorise the vaccine made by Moderna, allowing the company to begin shipping millions of doses.
It comes days after the US began its largest ever vaccination campaign with the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.
The US has recorded more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country in the world.
The death toll in the US passed 300,000 earlier this week.
On Thursday, the advisory panel voted 20-0 with one abstention that the benefits of the Moderna vaccine outweigh the risks for the people aged 18 and over. Last week, the same committee backed the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, leading to its authorisation for emergency use the following day.
Following the panel’s endorsement, Stephen Hahn, FDA commissioner, said his agency had informed Moderna that it would work “rapidly” towards issuing emergency use authorisation.
Earlier this week, regulators reported that the Moderna vaccine was safe and 94% effective.
The US has agreed to purchase 200 million doses of the vaccine, and six million could be ready to ship as soon as the vaccine gets FDA approval.
Dr James Hildreth, a member of the expert panel, said: “To go from having a sequence of a virus in January to having two vaccines available in December is a remarkable achievement.”
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