FDA has decided to permit emergency use of Moderna’s (NSDQ:MRNA) mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine. A week ago, FDA granted the same designation for the vaccine from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NSDQ:BNTX).
The U.S. government will collaborate with the company to distribute the vaccine. Although the EUA permits the vaccine to be used in individuals 18 and older, medical workers and residents of long-term care facilities have priority to receive the vaccine first based on CDC suggestions.
“With the availability of two vaccines now for the prevention of COVID-19, the FDA has taken another crucial step in the fight against this global pandemic that is causing vast numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States each day,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen M. Hahn in a statement.
Hahn stressed the agency had preserved its rigorous standards for evaluating the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. The news about the Moderna EUA on Dec. 18 came a day after an FDA advisory panel endorsed the company’s vaccine.
Distribution of the vaccine to patients is slated to begin on Monday, Dec. 21.
To date, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 318,000 in the U.S. and 1.7 million people throughout the world.