The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has endorsed Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.
On Thursday, Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine moved forward in its journey to authorized, as the FDA after officials voted 20 to 1 in favor of the vaccine being authorized for emergency use. The FDA is expected to make its formal decision on Friday, as the country hit a new record of 3,611 deaths on Wednesday. If approved, nearly 5.9 million doses will be shipped around the country beginning this weekend.
Moderna will join Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech as the latest company to be allowed to begin inoculating the public. Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine was authorized for vaccine distribution last week, The New York Times reports.
Moderna’s vaccine can be distributed more widely because it can be stored at normal freezer temperatures. Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine does not require an above-average cold storage environment. Moderna’s vaccine will also work well for hospitals in less populated areas because it comes in smaller batches to use quickly.
“Moderna can go to more places,” Dr. Mandy Cohen, North Carolina’s secretary of health and human services, said this week. “We hope to be in all 100 counties with some amount of vaccine — small allocations at first — by the end of next week, assuming Moderna gets approved this week and we get our allocations delivered over the course of next week.”
A group of experts will come together on Saturday to decide if the Center for Disease Control and Prevention should allow the distribution of the Moderna vaccine. On Sunday, that same panel of experts will decide which “priority group” should be next in line for the vaccine, The New York Times reports.