The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday formally granted emergency use approval for Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.
The Moderna vaccine’s approval comes one week after the agency granted emergency approval to Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine, marking an important step in the fight against the virus as the U.S. continues to set a number of grim milestones.
The Pfizer vaccine was rolled out to a number of health-care workers and long-term-care facility residents this week. The U.S. could see 6 million doses of the Moderna vaccine distributed next week.
The approval comes one day after an FDA advisory panel voted 20-0, with one abstention, to endorse Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine and recommend that the agency move forward with emergency authorization.
The panel found that the safety and efficacy of the vaccine outweigh the risks for use in people age 18 and older. Earlier this week the agency confirmed findings that two doses of the Moderna vaccine are 94 percent effective at preventing illness.
Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna’s shots do not require extremely cold storage and come in smaller batches.