Washington: The same advisory panel that recommended FDA’s approval of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was discussing Moderna’s version of the vaccine on Thursday and was expected to give thumbs up by the afternoon for the vaccine’s emergency use. When approved by FDA, the vaccine could roll out as early as next week.
Moderna’s vaccine is reportedly more than 94% effective, and unlike Pfizer’s, which must be shipped and stored at ultra-cold temperatures, can be kept at standard freezer temperatures.
The initial wave of vaccine distribution this week involved 5.9 million doses of the Pfizer’s version blanketing the country. US officials say 6 million Moderna vaccine doses could rollout starting Monday.
While federal officials recently announced an agreement for another 100 million Moderna doses, for 200 million total, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Thursday said the government is optimistic it will “secure additional quantities” from Pfizer in the second quarter of 2021.
In the meantime, the U.S. has an agreement for 100 million Pfizer doses through March 31, with an allocation of 20 million doses each month.
Health care workers across the United States were among the first Americans to get the federally-approved coronavirus vaccine this week.
Former Presidents Barack Obama, Geroge W. Bush, and Bill Clinton have volunteered to take the vaccine on camera to help build public trust in the coronavirus vaccine.
It was not clear if and when President Trump, who has already successfully fought back the virus, will take the vaccine.