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Moderna vaccine rolls out amid miscommunication over Pfizer doses and new virus strain

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provide protection against new strain of coronavirus, former FDA commissioner says.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Initial shipments of the Moderna vaccine started going out on Sunday, after the Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use authorization. The FDA advisory committee gave its approval on Thursday.

Moderna is the second coronavirus vaccine in the pipeline. Operation Warp Speed has allocated more than 5.9 million doses, with OWS officials saying 20 million are expected to be available by the end of December.

CHALLENGES
 
On Saturday, General Gustave Perna, chief operating officer for Operation Warp Speed, apologized for what he called miscommunication over Pfizer BioNTech vaccine shipments after state officials said they were receiving fewer doses than promised.

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Perna said he mistakenly cited the wrong numbers of doses that he believed would be ready but added there was no problem with the process.

Another development has been the lockdown in London and other parts of England due to a new coronavirus variant that reportedly spreads more easily than the original strain of the virus.

Today, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC that the existing COVID-19 vaccines will likely protect against the new coronavirus strain. Gottlieb is a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner who serves on the board of Pfizer.

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