FDA panel endorses Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

A second coronavirus vaccine is one step closer to being delivered after a federal panel of outside experts on Thursday endorsed a coronavirus vaccine from Moderna and recommended the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) move forward with emergency authorization.

The panel voted 20-0, with one abstention, that the safety and efficacy of the vaccine outweigh the risks for use in individuals aged 18 and older.

Based on the track taken by the FDA on the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech, the agency could grant emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine as soon as Friday.

Following FDA approval for emergency use on Friday, initial doses of Pfizer’s vaccine were administered to health workers on Monday.

Between Moderna and the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech, health officials said they expect to deliver enough vaccine to inoculate 20 million people with the first dose by the end of the year.