Moderna to apply for emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine

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Pharmaceutical company Moderna will on Monday apply to both US and European authorities for an emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine – becoming the second drugmaker after Pfizer and German partner BioNTech to apply to the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.

Moderna’s application is based on data that showed its vaccine as over 94% effective and 100% effective in preventing severe disease from COVID-19.

The company says if it gains the FDA’s emergency use authorisation, the first immunizations could be administered as early as December 21st.

The company is on track to produce about 20 million doses by the end of the year with half a billion expected to be available in 2021.

 

Moderna’s immunization is a two-dose process that must be administered one month apart so 20 million doses would cover only 10 million people.

Pfzer applied for emergency use authorisation on November 20th and could have up to 50 million doses available before the year’s end with half going to the United States alone.

The Atlanta-based Centres for Disease Control is meeting this week to determine which groups would get vaccinated first.

Meanwhile, Britain has secured 2 million doses of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, to be available in Europe as early as the spring, the government said on Sunday, in addition to the 5 million doses it secured from the US company two weeks ago.

The new deal came a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson named Nadhim Zahawi, a junior business minister, to be minister responsible for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.

Britain now has access to enough doses of Moderna’s vaccine candidate for around 3.5 million people. Overall, it has access to 357 million doses of vaccines from seven developers, according to government statement. –Additional reporting Reuters

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