US Panel Recommends Emergency Approval Of Moderna Vaccine

Washington: A US panel of experts has recommended emergency approval of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine. A panel of outside advisers to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) endorsed Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

The committee voted 20-0 with one abstention in favour of the vaccine, saying its benefits outweigh any potential risks in people aged 18 and older.

The decision comes one week after the same panel backed another COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and the company’s German partner, BioNTech, leading to an FDA emergency use authorisation a day later.

The meeting came as the number of deaths from the coronavirus quickly approaches 310,000 in the worst-hit country in the world, which this week began vaccinating health care workers and long-term care residents with the Pfizer vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine is set to begin distribution as soon as the FDA gives the green light.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told CNBC on Thursday that 5.9 million doses have been allotted for states and large cities and were ready to ship nationwide.

US officials have said they expect to have 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines by the end of the year – enough to inoculate 20 million people.

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