Moderna Covid-19 vaccine authorised by US FDA for emergency use

2nd vaccine in the world approved by the United States.

Julia Yeo | December 19, 2020, 11:52 AM

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised a second Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use on Dec. 18 (U.S. time), developed by American biotech company Moderna.

Moderna approved by U.S. FDA

The emergency use authorisation will allow the vaccine to be distributed in the U.S. for use in individuals 18 years and older, said the U.S. FDA in a tweet.

According to BBC, the U.S. has agreed to purchase 200 million doses of Moderna, with six million ready to be shipped.

While it is still pending approval from the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before shots can be administered, Moderna's vaccine could be rolled out as early as next week in the U.S., reported CNN.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Friday (U.S. time) that the "Moderna vaccine is now available", shortly after the FDA's announcement.

Second in the world to be approved by U.S. FDA

The Moderna vaccine is the second Covid-19 vaccine in the world to be authorised by the U.S. FDA, with Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine having been authorised and distributed in parts of the world.

Similar to Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine, the Moderna vaccine requires two injections, with the booster shot taken 28 days after the first injection.

According to BBC, the Moderna vaccine has an effectiveness of 95 per cent, while Pfizer-BioNTech stands at 90 per cent.

The Moderna vaccine requires temperatures of around -20°C when transporting, similar to a normal freezer, while the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires temperatures close to -75°C, making transporting of the vaccine much more challenging.

Moderna in agreement with MOH

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Dec. 14 that Singapore's Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has approved Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine for pandemic use, with the with the first shipment expected to arrive by the end of December 2020.

On Dec. 15, Moderna confirmed an agreement with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to supply Singapore with its Covid-19 vaccine, though it is still pending approval from the HSA for use.

Vaccinations will be free for all Singaporeans and long-term residents, with priority given to those who are at greatest risk, including healthcare workers, frontline personnel, the elderly and the vulnerable.

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Top image via Getty