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Moderna Vaccine On The Way Following FDA Approval, Officials Say

REUTERS/Coronavirus: On November 16, 2020, US biotech company Moderna announced a vaccine against COVID-19 that is 94.5% effective. Montreal, November 16, 2020/File Photo

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Distribution of Moderna’s vaccine has already begun after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency approval, officials said Saturday, according to The Hill.

“Distribution of Moderna vaccine has already begun,” Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, said in a briefing, according to The Hill.

“Boxes are being packed and loaded today. Trucks will begin rolling out tomorrow, from FedEx and UPS, delivering vaccines and kits to the American people across the United States,” Perna said, according to The Hill. (RELATED: Operation Warp Speed Official Says 20 Million Moderna Vaccines Will Be Distributed By End Of December)

Perna said between Moderna and Pfizer, the government has collected 7.9 million coronavirus vaccines to distribute, according to The Hill.

The FDA granted emergency authorization use approval for Moderna’s vaccine on Friday. The U.S., therefore, is the first country to grant approval to two safe and effective vaccines to fight the coronavirus.

The FDA’s key vaccine advisory panel unanimously voted in favor of recommending emergency use authorization approval for Moderna’s vaccine, which would permit its approval and nationwide distribution.

Moderna said it’s ready to allocate almost six million doses of its coronavirus vaccine upon approval. The six million is over two times more than what Pfizer first sent last weekend.

Pfizer was granted emergency authorization use approval for its vaccine last Friday. The FDA’s key advisory panel voted 17 to four in favor of recommending the vaccine’s emergency use approval.

Video footage showed the first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine leaving the company’s Michigan manufacturing plant on Sunday.

Pfizer announced a week before Moderna that their vaccine showed over 90% effectiveness in their Phase III clinical trials. Moderna announced on Nov. 16 that their vaccine is almost 95% effective in their human trials’ preliminary outcomes.

Moderna and the Department of Health and Human Services didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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