Dec 17, 2020 - Health

FDA advisory panel endorses Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Picture of a vaccine syringe in front of the Moderna logo and the FDA logo
Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Thursday recommended the approval of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in a 20-0 vote with one abstention.

Why it matters: This clears the way for the FDA to give the vaccine emergency authorization as soon as Friday, per the New York Times. The backing gives a boost to efforts to ramp up the country's immunization campaign.

  • Moderna's vaccine would be the second to be approved in the U.S., following the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The big picture: The FDA released on Tuesday an analysis of the vaccine, calling it "highly effective" with a 94.1% efficacy rate and finding no dangerous side effects.

  • Though the FDA is not required to follow the advisory panel's advice, it typically does.
  • The U.S. plans to distribute roughly 6 million doses next week, pending the agency’s green-light, per Gen. Gustave Perna, who oversees logistics for Operation Warp Speed.
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