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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration released detailed data on Tuesday showing Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is safe and "highly effective" in preventing cases of the virus in adults.

Why it matters: It clears the way for the emergency authorization of a second coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. as soon as this week, making inoculation available to millions more Americans.

  • The review confirmed Moderna's claim that the vaccine had a 94.1% efficacy rate in a trial of 30,000 people, with the FDA describing the recommended two-dose regimen as "highly effective" in preventing infection 14 days after the second dose.
  • The most common side effects included fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue and joint pain — but none were deemed dangerous, per the agency.
Incidence of coronavirus infection from patients who received placebo vs. vaccine. Via FDA

What's next: An FDA advisory panel will meet on Thursday to review the data and vote on whether to recommend emergency authorization.

  • Officials said Monday they are prepared to ship out just under 6 million doses when the authorization is granted, more than double the 2.9 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine that the U.S. initially prepared to be shipped out this week.
  • This summer, Moderna struck an agreement with the federal government's Operation Warp Speed to provide 100 million doses if the vaccine proved to be safe and effective. The Trump administration purchased 100 million more Moderna doses last week to ensure "continuous delivery through the end of June 2021."

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 23 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Los Angeles County to require vaccination proof at indoor bars — France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay — Moderna suggests booster shots, citing clinical data.
  2. Health: 1 in 500 Americans has died — Cases are falling, but deaths are rising — Study: Gaps in data on Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders alarming amid COVID.
  3. Politics: Gottlieb says CDC hampered U.S. response — 26 states have limited state or local officials' public health powers — Axios-Ipsos poll: 60% of voters back Biden vaccine mandates.
  4. Education: Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap — Federal judge temporarily blocks Iowa's ban on mask mandates in schools — Massachusetts activates National Guard to help with school transportation.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.