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FDA advisory committee approves Moderna vaccine for emergency use authorization

Today, pharmacies began administering Pfizer vaccine to residents and staff of long-term care facilities. 

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

The Food and Drug Administration's advisory committee yesterday approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use authorization.

The vaccine now awaits approval by the FDA.

Yesterday, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said the FDA would rapidly work toward finalization and issuance of an emergency use authorization. The agency has also notified the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed so they can execute their plans for timely vaccine distribution, Hahn said.

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Close to six million doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to be distributed soon, with 20 million going out by the end of December, according to Operation Warp Speed officials.

Moderna is the second vaccine to receive FDA advisory committee approval. The Pfizer vaccine, which the FDA approved last week, is being given to frontline workers and is now, with the help of pharmacies, going out to staff and residents of long-term care facilities. A full-scale rollout to long-term care facilities is expected on Monday.

Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine does not need to be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius and can be stored at regular freezer temperatures.

 
Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com