Two vaccines are better than one.
With Pfizer’s vaccine approved by the FDA and the CDC and already rolling out, the United States is starting to see a light at the end of the long, long, long tunnel that has been the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there’s a little problem: Pfizer is only able to produce so many doses of its vaccine in one go, and shipping them all out is going to take a very long time. The initial doses are being prioritized for those on the front lines of the pandemic like healthcare workers, which is good, but we’re probably not going to see a general public rollout until mid-2021. Luckily, it looks like Pfizer’s vaccine won’t be tackling the pandemic alone.
After an extensive review of its associated data and safety protocols, an FDA advisory committee has formally recommended that the other major vaccine in the game, produced by Moderna, be authorized for emergency deployment, same as Pfizer’s.
The FDA collectively stated that the results from Moderna’s clinical trials and safety data were “consistent with the recommendations set forth in FDA’s Guidance on Emergency Use Authorization for Vaccines to Prevent COVID-19.”
“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,” they said.
BREAKING: An FDA analysis finds Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine 94.5% effective, setting it up for possible emergency authorization later this week.
That would put it in line to be a second vaccine option in the U.S.https://t.co/Bf9enbrxY0
— NPR (@NPR) December 15, 2020
Now, this doesn’t quite mean Moderna can start rolling out their vaccine, at least not just yet. They’ll still need a blessing from the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which is set to meet this Thursday. That being said, expectations are high, and just about everyone involved is relatively certain they’ll receive the green light. Should Moderna receive emergency approval, the United States is already poised to purchase 100 million doses of the vaccine, with a deal for another 100 million in the works.