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2nd COVID-19 vaccine set for OK in US with FDA panel endorsement

Moderna
Posted at 5:00 AM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 17:18:43-05

The FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee panel has endorsed a second COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.

Now the FDA is expected to act quickly to authorize the Moderna vaccine for emergency use and keep it on schedule to be distributed to patients across the country as early next week.

The panel voted 20 yeses and one abstain.

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With the panel recommending EUA, the FDA as a whole would then need to file its own EUA approval.

The final step would be a formal recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Americans should receive the vaccine.

Last Thursday, the committee voted in favor of granting EUA to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. By Monday, it was being administered across the country.

The panel's meeting comes days after a key FDA report upheld the safety and efficacy results of the Moderna vaccine's Phase III trials. Those statistics showed that the vaccine was 95% effective with no severe side-effects.

"FDA has determined that the Sponsor has provided adequate information to ensure the vaccine's quality and consistency for authorization of the product under an EUA," the report said.

An approval of Moderna's vaccine would immediately boost the supply levels of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. Millions of doses are ready to be shipped across the country as soon as approval is granted.

The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines comes amid the bleakest stretch to date in the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. is currently seeing the highest level of new cases (213.000) and deaths (2,500) each day, according to seven-day rolling averages totaled by the COVID Tracking Project. More Americans than ever are also battling the virus in a hospital (113,000).