America Just Authorised A Second COVID-19 Vaccine
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised a second coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.
The FDA approved Moderna’s vaccine yesterday, December 18, a move which will allow millions more Americans to be protected against the disease.
Last week, the US approved its first coronavirus vaccine, which has been developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
US officials must now decide who will receive the next wave of vaccinations, whether it be essential workers, people who are 65 and older, or people with pre-existing health conditions that would make them more susceptible to an increased risk from the virus.
The news will be welcomed by the American public, which has seen a worrying rise in coronavirus cases in the last month. This week, there has been an average of 213,165 cases per day, The New York Times reports.
This is an increase of 18% from the average number of cases two weeks ago. Additionally, the US has seen its daily death toll surpass 3,200.
The Moderna vaccine will be managed by the US government under Operation Warp Speed, a task force dedicated to the distribution of the vaccine.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the US’ top infectious disease expert, said the development and approval of both vaccines is a ‘historic moment’.
‘This to me is a triumph of multiyear investment in biomedical research that culminated in something that was not only done in record time, in the sense of never before has anybody even imagined you would get vaccines to people in less than a year from the time that the sequence was made known,’ he said.
He added: ‘This is an example of government working. It worked really well.’
Moderna’s vaccine, unlike the one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, does not need extreme-cold storage and is delivered in smaller batches.
US states are hoping that because of this, it will be able to reach less populated areas and rural hospitals.
On December 8, a 90-year-old woman in the UK became the first person in the world to receive the coronavirus vaccine, after the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency declared Pfizer & BioNTech’s vaccine safe to be rolled out.
Essential healthcare workers, the elderly and most vulnerable are the first group to receive the vaccine. In the first week, more than 137,000 people received the vaccine.
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