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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.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

Updated 38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fall and winter COVID surge "unlikely" if people get vaccinated.
  2. Politics: School boards are the next political battleground.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA vaccine approval — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.