Health Care Dec. 16, 2020

Trump administration to purchase another 100M doses of Moderna vaccine

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine will likely be on its way soon after being endorsed by the FDA today, ahead of a panel meeting later this week. Vice President Pence will receive the COVID-19 vaccine soon, and Fauci says President Trump and President-elect Biden should take it immediately. Meanwhile, the FDA authorized a rapid, at-home COVID test.

We’ll start with Moderna:

FDA endorses safety and efficacy of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine

A coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Moderna is on the verge of authorization after Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists found it to be safe and 94 percent effective at preventing severe cases of COVID-19.

The evidence will be discussed during a panel meeting of independent experts on Thursday. Based on the track taken by the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech, the FDA could grant emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine as soon as Friday.

The anticipated authorization would give America two different vaccines against COVID-19. The Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed has invested $4.1 billion in federal funds in the development and distribution of Moderna’s vaccine. The federal government signed a deal last summer to deliver a total of 100 million doses in the first quarter of 2021. Last week the administration announced that it had purchased another 100 million doses from Moderna for the second quarter.

Results: The vaccine was effective across all races and genders, the FDA found, and may even prevent asymptomatic infection, rather than symptomatic disease.

Side effects included chills, injection site soreness, fever, headache and fatigue, but most did not last longer than a day, the agency found.

Next step: Based on what happened with Pfizer last week, Moderna’s vaccine could get cleared on Friday with distribution to states starting Monday. Gen. Gustave Perna, the CEO of Operation Warp Speed, said the administration plans to ship 6 million doses out to 3,285 locations across the country in the first week of the vaccine’s authorization

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