The Covid-19 vaccine developed by the pharma company Moderna has been granted approval by the United States government which makes it the second vaccine against the pandemic ot be given the green signal in the country. That now clears the way for the company to release millions of doses of the vaccine.
It was a week ago that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had authorised a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and which is curre3ntly being distributed across the country.
Pre orders of 200 million doses of Moderna have been booked by the US government and it is estimated that the company already has six million of them ready to be distributed.
The US has recorded the highest number of infections and deaths due to Covid-19 in the world. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 313,500 deaths and about 17.5 million infections have been recorded in the country.
The emergency usage approval of the vaccine on Friday marked “another crucial step in the fight against this global pandemic that is causing vast numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States each day”, said FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn.
In a voting held in an advisory panel set to decide on the vaccine on voted 20-0 with one abstention on Thursday as the panel unanimously agreed that the benefits of the Moderna vaccine were greater than the risks posed for people over the age of 18 years and above.
The Moderna vaccine was safe and 94 per cent effective, regulators reported earlier this week.
“Congratulations, the Moderna vaccine is now available!” – tweeted the US President Donald Trump even though hours prior to the official announcement had also tweeted that the Moderna vaccine had been “overwhelmingly approved” and tghat distribution would “start immediately”.
The authorisation of the Pfizer and the Moderna jabs “assures us that brighter days lie ahead”, said President-elect Joe Biden, who is set to be vaccinated on Monday. He however also added that “the fight against Covid-19 is not yet over.”
“We know the immense challenges ahead, including scaling up manufacturing, distribution, and the monumental task of vaccinating hundreds of millions of Americans. We need to make sure we have the resources to do all of this and to do it quickly.”
The Moderna vaccine requires temperatures of around -20C for shipping which is same as hat of a normal freezer. In comparison the CVovid-19 vaccine developed by US corporation Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech SE requires a temperature of about -75C which makes transportation and storing of the vaccine very difficult.
A second booster shot of the Moderna vaccine is also needed, just like that from Pfizer/BioNTech, which is to be administered 28 days after the first jab compared to a difference of 21 days between the two jabs of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
The “vast majority” of its doses would be manufactured there, the Cambridge, Massachusetts based Moderna had previously said.
On the other hand, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is being manufactured in a number of countries including in Germany and Belgium.
(Adapted from BBC.com)