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Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine approved by key advisory panel, FDA authorization expected Friday

Written by Michael Palomba

It was just last week that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine gained FDA approval for emergency use, and Moderna is on track to gain that approval tomorrow.

Thursday, a key advisory panel recommended that the Food and Drug Administration issue an emergency use authorization for Moderna’s vaccine. This is the same advisory panel that made the same recommendation for Pfizer’s vaccine, which was approved by the FDA the next day.

The panel voted 20-0 to make the recommendation, with only one abstention.

“We’re talking about a pandemic where we really need to move this forward, and there’s really an effort to get this done quickly,” said committee member Dr. Steven Pergam, an infectious-disease specialist with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. “There’s no doubt in my mind that it looks like the benefits outweigh the risks.”

“What a remarkable scientific achievement this is,” added Dr. James Hildreth, a committee member, immunologist and president and CEO of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. “To go from having a sequence of a virus in January to having two vaccines available in December is a remarkable achievement.”

“The evidence for the vaccine highly outweighs any issues that we have seen,” said panel member Hayley Gans, a Stanford University pediatrics professor.

With FDA approval essentially in the bag, Moderna will likely be able to start shipping vaccines out as soon as Monday. The companies vaccine showed a 94% effectiveness rating during late-stage testing. With this vaccine and Pfizer’s vaccine finally making their way to the public, the US may be able to return to a sense of normalcy sooner rather than later.

Experts claimed that a COVID-19 vaccine would take years and many scoffed at the idea of having a vaccine before years end. Thanks to President Trump and his creation of Operation Warp speed, a public-private partnership aimed at creating a COVID vaccine, we have two highly effective vaccines that are going out to the public. President Trump proved the experts wrong again and an innumerable amount of lives will be saved as a result.