Washington: The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now approved Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
The FDA’s announcement came a day after a committee of outside experts endorsed the Moderna vaccine’s use across the US, saying its benefits outweigh any potential risks in people aged 18 and older.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Stephen Hahn said: “With the availability of two vaccines now for the prevention of Covid-19, the FDA has taken another crucial step in the fight against this global pandemic.”
“Congratulations, the Moderna vaccine is now available!” tweeted President Donald Trump.
Moderna has about 5.9 million doses ready for shipment set to begin during the weekend, according to Operation Warp Speed, the US government’s vaccine development programme.
Healthcare workers and nursing home residents are expected to be inoculated next week, before other essential workers and vulnerable groups have access to the vaccine.
The US is the first nation to authorize the two-dose regimen from Moderna, now the second vaccine to be deployed in a Western country after the first, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.