Moderna’s Vaccine Is Poised to Roll Out in the U.S.

The FDA is expected to authorize a second vaccine and more Friday vaccine updates

FDA advisory panel recommends Moderna’s vaccine for emergency use authorization

Echoing last week’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel on Pfizer’s vaccines, a panel of experts met on Thursday in another grueling daylong summit to discuss emergency use authorization for Moderna’s vaccine. Among a variety of topics covered, they discussed the ability of the vaccine to prevent transmission of Covid-19 (which isn’t a given; vaccines are designed primarily to prevent disease) and deaths and serious adverse events observed in the company’s 30,000-person trial.

Pharmacists discover extra doses of Pfizer’s vaccine in the bottles

In an unexpectedly happy twist of fate for 2020, pharmacists administering the Pfizer vaccine discovered that the vials contained extra doses — instead of the expected five doses, vials contain six or even seven. Together, the excess could increase the very limited U.S. vaccine supply by up to 40%, Politico reported on Wednesday. The same day, the FDA approved the use of those extra doses, clearing up the confusion that previously led some pharmacists to discard excess doses out of fear of breaking the FDA’s rules.

Vice President Mike Pence publicly receives the Pfizer vaccine

On Friday morning, Vice President Mike Pence received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on national TV. The move was considered a symbol of reassurance, targeted toward people who are skeptical or hesitant of vaccination, that the vaccine is safe. Neither President Donald Trump nor his wife, Melania, have shared plans to receive the vaccine, let alone publicly. Some experts who talked to the New York Times praised Pence’s move, but others pointed out that it further blurs the stance of the White House, which has also held maskless gatherings and had a number of positive Covid-19 cases throughout recent months.

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