FDA panel recommends approving Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

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A coronavirus vaccine developed by drugmaker Moderna was recommended for use by a Food and Drug Administration panel of experts on Thursday — just days after the first doses of Pfizer’s shot began rolling out across the country and into people’s arms on Monday.

The 22-member Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee gave the green light after reviewing the Moderna vaccine’s safety and effectiveness against the coronavirus, which has killed more than 307,000 Americans, for emergency use authorization.

On Tuesday, the FDA issued a report that Moderna’s two-shot regimen was confirmed in a clinical trial to be 94 percent effective — and was particularly effective against severe disease.

It has not caused major safety problems, the report said.

Like Pfizer’s vaccine, side effects of Moderna’s include fever, fatigue and muscle aches.

The review by experts on infectious diseases, epidemiology and immunology, took on added significance after a health worker in Alaska was hospitalized after having a serious allergic reaction to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The person, believed to have suffered an anaphylactic reaction similar to two patients in the UK, became ill on Tuesday.

The Trump administration has secured nearly 6 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine for immediate release, Heath and Human Services head Alex Azar said on Wednesday.

The shots would first go to health workers and to people in nursing homes.

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