Published: 2020-12-18 16:01
Last Updated: 2021-03-06 08:37
Friday, US President Donald Trump said that the US has authorized Moderna, making it the second coronavirus vaccine to be approved, jumping the gun on FDA regulators who have yet to formally approve the vaccine, according to AFP.
Trump tweeted, "Moderna vaccine overwhelmingly approved. Distribution to start immediately," following expert panel recommendations Thursday to grant emergency use approval (EUA) for the vaccine in the USA.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to formally approve the vaccine Friday, making the Moderna the second vaccine to be approved following Pfizer-BioNTech.
Trump's announcement came following US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine live on television.
Pence stated that formal approval for the Moderna vaccine would be a matter of hours.
The US, which has recorded more than 17 million cases of the virus, will probably become the first country to approve the Moderna vaccine.
The expert panel meeting Thursday was in response to the soaring number of COVID-19 deaths in the US which is quickly approaching 310,000.
Operation Warp Speed, the US' vaccination campaign, began last week with health worker and long-term care residents.
The campaign comes as the US Wednesday broke daily case, death, and hospitalization records, which have been soaring after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Both vaccines were manufactured using the Nucleic acid method (messenger RNA). Vaccines of this kind have never been approved by a food and drug regulatory administration prior to the pandemic.