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A UPS driver delivers 2,900 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Galveston, Texas. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

America's rural and underserved areas are one step closer to an easily accessible vaccine, thanks to the FDA approaching emergency authorization for the Moderna vaccine.

Why it matters: "Moderna is the one that I would take out to rural areas and community health centers and private doctors' offices," Harvard public health professor Barry Bloom told the N.Y. Times.

  • Moderna's vaccine doesn't need to be kept as cold as the Pfizer vaccine, making it far easier to distribute in smaller quantities.

By the numbers: The FDA review confirmed Moderna's 94% efficacy rate in preventing COVID infections for people with two doses.

  • Moderna said it's prepared to immediately distribute 6 million doses, double what Pfizer began to roll out on Monday.

Between the lines: The FDA review showed Moderna's vaccine worked "equally well in white, Black and Hispanic volunteers, men and women, healthy participants and those at risk of severe Covid-19 with conditions like obesity and diabetes," the Times notes.

  • "For people 65 and older, the trial provided an estimated efficacy of 86.4 percent, lower than the overall estimate of 94.1 percent. But the apparent difference was not statistically significant. And 86.4 percent is still very high."

The bottom line: Moderna's vaccine is a triumph for the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed, which provided several billion in funding to help ramp up production."

  • Moderna has agreements with the U.S. to sell 200 million doses.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Jan 21, 2021 - Health

Fighting COVID-19's effects on gender equality

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Women around the world have borne a disproportionate brunt of the social and economic effects of COVID-19.

Why it matters: Women in the U.S. and around the world already faced an unequal playing field before the pandemic. As countries prepare for the post-COVID-19 world, they need to take special care to ensure the virus doesn't permanently set back the cause of gender equality.

Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategy

Biden signs executive orders on Jan. 21. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

"It's gonna get worse before it gets better": President Biden expects 100,000 Americans to die from COVID-19 during his first six weeks in office.

The big picture: Biden said he's putting America on a wartime footing against the virus, signing 10 executive orders today alone.