FDA authorizes second vaccine as US cases and deaths hit records

Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate moves closer to rollout, following thumbs up from FDA and CDC advisory panel.

On Saturday, the Moderna’s vaccine candidate made it past one of its final obstacles before mass rollout – a greenlight from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s independent vaccine advisory panel which, in an emergency session recommended that Americans ages 18 and older receive the vaccine under emergency use. While it is widely expected that the CDC will accept the recommendations of the advisory committee as it typically does, a formal announcement from the CDC will be the final step before mass vaccination can commence. Pre-empting a favorable outcome, Moderna has already started shipping the vaccine across the country.

The advisory panel’s recommendation followed an announcement on Friday night by the Food and Drug Administration, that it has issued emergency use authorization (EUA) for the vaccine - the second to receive the approval following the authorization granted for Pfizer/BioNTech’s candidate just over a week ago. Following the approval, Americans have already started receiving vaccinations with Pfizer’s vaccine. The news about the authorization for Moderna’s vaccine come as Covid-19 hospitalizations hit yet another record. Over the past week alone, more than 1.51 million new coronavirus cases where reported across the country - the most ever for one week.