US authorizes emergency use of Moderna vaccine

By Albert Traver

Washington, Dec 18 (efe-epa).- The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Friday the use of Moderna’s vaccine for emergency use against Covid-19.

It comes just a week after the approval of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, which is already being administered.

“With the availability of two vaccines now for the prevention of Covid-19, the FDA has taken another crucial step in the fight against this global pandemic that is causing vast numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States each day,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn in a statement.

Hahn assured that despite the “expedited timeframe” of the two vaccines, they adhere to the “rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality.”

Next week 5.9 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine and another 2 million of Pfizer/BioNTech’s will be distributed throughout the country, the US secretary of Health and Human Services said.

Those 7.9 million doses will add to the 2.9 million from Pfizer/BioNTech distributed this week and are already being administered.

Each vaccine requires two doses per person within a period of 21 days for Pfizer/BioNTech and 28 days for Moderna.

This emergency authorization (an exceptional process prior to approval) comes at the worst moment of the pandemic for the US, with more than 17.4 million infections and 313,000 deaths, more than any other country.

Meanwhile, a female health worker in Alaska suffered a severe allergic reaction after receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the third case in that state so far this week and the second requiring hospitalization.

The clinician in the city of Fairbanks experienced anaphylactic symptoms such as a swollen tongue, a hoarse voice and difficulty breathing about 10 minutes after receiving the inoculation on Thursday, according to the Foundation Health Partners, operator of the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

The healthcare worker was treated in an emergency room and given epinephrine, before being discharged six hours later.

The clinician said in the statement that the “adverse reaction to the vaccine is insignificant compared to what the Covid infection can do to people.”

“I would get the vaccine and recommend it to anyone, despite my reaction, to help our country get immunized which is needed for the health of all Americans, for the economy, get families hugging again, for getting children back to schools, and to get the country on the other side of this pandemic,” they added. EFE-EPA


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