Moderna vaccine closer to approval in US –

A second coronavirus vaccine is near emergency approval in the U.S. after an expert panel approved.

The head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said his agency would move swiftly to authorize the Moderna vaccine, allowing the company to start delivering millions of doses.

It comes days after the U.S. launched its biggest ever vaccine campaign with the release of the Pfizer / BioNTech injection.

The U.S. has recorded more Covid-19 cases and deaths than any other country.

Earlier this week, the death toll passed 300,000.

The advisory panel voted Thursday 20-0 with one voter saying the benefits Moderna the vaccine outweighs the risks for those aged 18 or over. The same committee last week backed the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, leading to approval for emergency use the next day.

Following the panel’s approval, FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said his agency had provided information Moderna that it would work “quickly” towards issuing an emergency use permit.

Earlier in the week, regulators announced that the Moderna the vaccine was safe and 94% effective.

The U.S. has agreed to purchase 200 million doses, and six million could be ready for disposal as soon as the vaccine receives FDA approval.