FDA Advisory Board Recommends Use of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

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A second coronavirus vaccine is one more step in the arms of Americans. An advisory committee voted on Thursday to recommend that the Food and Drug Administration authorize Moderna’s vaccine for emergency use, as they did last week for Pfizer’s vaccine.
Members of the Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biologics voted 20-0 with one abstention in favor of the vaccine.

The FDA is expected to quickly authorize emergency use of the vaccine in the fight against COVID-19, which means it could begin delivery as early as next week.

The panel’s vote indicates that members believe that given the totality of the scientific evidence, the benefits outweigh the risks for people 18 and older.

“Going from the sequence of one virus in January to the availability of two vaccines in December is a remarkable achievement,” said Dr. James Hildreth, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, as a panel member.

The committee, which advises the agency, last week offered a boost for the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. The FDA cleared it the next day. Start of health workers and other priority beneficiaries get this vaccine on Monday in what will be the largest immunization program in the country’s history.

“The evidence that has been studied in detail on this vaccine far outweighs any problems that we have seen and it really helps us put the pandemic in our backdrop, really move forward and finally provide a way. safe and effective to achieve collective immunity, ”said Dr Hayley Gans, pediatrician at Stanford University Medical Center and professor of pediatrics.

The Moderna vaccine is said to be more than 94% effective, similar to that of Pfizer. But unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which must be shipped and stored at ultra-cold temperatures, Moderna can be stored at standard freezing temperatures. Both vaccines require two doses; the second dose of Pfizer vaccine should be given 21 days after the first, while Moderna is given 28 days later.

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According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the United States has seen more than 17.1 million people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 310,000 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began earlier this year. Wednesday saw a record 3,600 deaths and more than 247,000 new cases amid a nationwide peak in the weeks following the Thanksgiving holiday. That represents an almost 10% increase in cases last week, with states such as Maine recording an increase of almost 20% and New Hampshire of 21.2%.

So far, two healthcare workers in Alaska reported allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine.

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