Washington, U.S – The Food and Drug Administration of United States has approved the emergency use of a vaccine created by a US biotech firm, Moderna Inc.
Moderna submitted their vaccine for emergency approval on November 30 after they finished their Phase 3 clinical trial with 30,000 participants. According to Moderna, the early data from their trial showed that their vaccine had proven to be 100% effective at preventing severe Covid-19 and 94% at preventing the disease more broadly.
The Moderna vaccine has been given the emergency use authorisation for people over 18 years of age only. The decision to approve the vaccine was announced after a group of experts met to discuss the benefits and risks of the vaccine, where 20 people voted that the benefits of the Moderna vaccine outweighed its risks.
While Moderna vaccine was approved last week, Moderna informed that they will be delivering 5.9 Million vaccine shots to the United States in this week. By the end of this year, Moderna expects to send approximately 20 Million vaccine doses to the US government.
Moderna’s vaccine is the second emergency vaccine to be approved by FDA, after a vaccine made by a pharmaceutical corporation, Pfizer and their German partner BioNTech which had proven to be 95% effective in its Phase 3 trial.
To have two vaccines against a novel virus authorized and distributed within a year is extraordinary.Alex Azar, US health secretary stated.
Although Pfizer vaccine was approved first by FDA and is currently being used in several countries for vaccination including in the United States and United Kingdom, Moderna seems to have an upper hand in the vaccine competition than Pfizer as the effectiveness rate of Moderna is higher than Pfizer’s vaccine and it does not require heavy storage requirements.
Pfizer needs their Covid-19 vaccine to be at minus 70 degrees this is why the company has gotten approval to freight their vaccine in increased quantities of dry ice at minus 70 degrees. This means that the vaccine from Pfizer needs to be kept at specialized freezers that cost as much as $20,000 and which are rare in medical facilities.
On the other hand, Moderna claims that their vaccine has a longer shelf life when it is refrigerated at the ‘normal’ fridge temperatures and at room temperature as well, making it a lot easier and less costly to store the vaccine.
Nevertheless, the Pfizer vaccine has been approved by several countries including the UK, Canada, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and majority of the countries have already started their first mass inoculation program for the Covid-19 vaccine.