US approves Moderna as second vaccine for COVID-19

Moderna has been approved by the United State government as the country's second Covid-19 vaccine, clearing the way for millions of doses to be released. The US added a second COVID-19 vaccine to its arsenal on December 18, boosting efforts to beat back an outbreak so dire that the nation is regularly recording more than 3,000 deaths a day. Much-needed doses are set to arrive on December 21 after the FDA authorized an emergency rollout of the vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of Health.

The move marks the world’s first authorization for Moderna’s shots. The vaccine is very akin to one from Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech that’s now being dispensed to millions of health care workers and nursing home residents as the biggest vaccination drive in U.S. history starts to ramp up.

The two work “better than we almost dared to hope,” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told The Associated Press. “Science is working here, science has done something amazing.”

Early results of large, still unfinished studies show both vaccines appear safe and strongly protective although Moderna’s is easier to handle since it doesn’t need to be stored at ultra-frozen temperatures

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