The FDA announced the authorization a day after a panel of experts from outside the agency endorsed its use and a week after the FDA authorized the vaccine from Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE.
Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine , which is based on similar technology, has been injected into thousands of US healthcare workers this week in a massive launch across the country. Meanwhile, Moderna injections are expected to begin in the next few days.
“With the availability of two vaccines now for prevention COVID-19 “The FDA has taken another important step in fighting the global pandemic that causes a large number of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States every day,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, in a statement as quoted from Reuters, Saturday (19/12/2020).
Moderna said it intends to apply for a full US license by 2021.(Also read: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Sinovac: Overview of the Three Key Vaccines for COVID-19 )
The FDA decision marks the world‘s first regulatory authorization for the Moderna vaccine and validation of its messenger RNA technology. It came less than a year after the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in the US.
The biotech company has been working with the US government to prepare for the distribution of 5.9 million vaccines at the earliest this weekend.