The Moderna coronavirus vaccine is the second one approved for emergency use in the US.
The country’s Food and Drug Administration announced the authorization a day after the group’s decision the vaccine was supported by a panel of external experts.
The FDA based its decision on results from a late study of 30,000 volunteers who found the vaccine to be nearly 95% effective in preventing illness from COVID-19.
The study also said there were no major safety concerns as a result of using the vaccine, although there are potential side effects including sore arms, fever, fatigue and muscle aches.
Director of the National Institutes of Health Dr Francis Collins said: “We are not done with this but there is hope along the way, and the hope comes from this scientific brain trust that has put an end to its all stop. “
The US is the first country to allow the use of the Moderna vaccine – European regulators could approve it as early as January 6 and the UK could approve it soon.
Moderna says it is willing to spread 5.9 million views in the U.S. as early as this weekend, news that will bring some comfort in a country that has lost more than 313,000 people to the virus.
216,000 people in the U.S. test positive for the disease every day and hospitals are struggling to keep up with the number of patients suffering from severe complications.
The US has already allowed the use of Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines but it is easier to store and distribute the Moderna vaccine, allowing it to stay stable at -20C – equivalent to most home or medical freezers – for up to six months.
Dr Collins said both vaccines had been subjected to a unique analysis but officials remain concerned that some members of the public may need to be persuaded to accept the vaccine.
Like the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna’s uses a piece of genetic code that trains the immune system to recognize and attack the virus. Both need two jobs several weeks apart.
The Moderna vaccine has been found to be particularly effective in older adults, who are more vulnerable to complications from the disease.
However, like the Pfizer version, it is unclear whether Moderna injection prevents asymptomatic transmission.