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US FDA has now approved the Moderna coronavirus vaccine for emergency use a week after authorising the Pfizer vaccine. US has already begun a mass rollout of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine as it authorised the Moderna vaccine as well to battle the surge in coronavirus cases.

US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to laud the effort and said, “Congratulations, the Moderna vaccine is now available!”

Moderna gets emergency use authorisation

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given emergency use authorisation to the coronavirus vaccine being developed by US pharma giant Moderna. Only last week had US FDA given authorisation to the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use.

A day earlier, an advisory panel to the FDA had endorsed the Moderna vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine will now be readied for mass rollout over the coming days even as thousands of healthcare workers have been administered the Pfizer dose in the US. Moderna has said it intends to apply for full US license in 2021.

The Moderna vaccine was found to be 95% effective in developing immunity against Covid-19 during the late-stage trials on 30,000 volunteers. Moderna is now working with the US government to ready 5.9 million shots for distribution by this weekend.

WHO has 2 billion vaccine doses

The head of the World Health Organization has that the UN health agency’s Covax programme will help reach Covid-19 vaccines to all countries in need, whether rich or poor, as it has gained access to nearly 2 billion doses of several “promising” vaccine candidates.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the agreements mean that some 190 countries and economies taking part in the Covax initiative will have access to vaccines “during the first half of next year.” “This is fantastic news and a milestone in global health,” said Tedros at a media briefing also attended by Covax and pharmaceutical industry leaders.

WHO and its partners in Covax, the Gavi vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, were “working non-stop to start vaccination early next year,” he said, stressing that vaccines would not replace but complement techniques already proven to help stem the spread of the virus.

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