WASHINGTON (AP/WAOW) -- The U.S. is adding a second COVID-19 vaccine to its arsenal.
The Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use Friday of the vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health.
The decision comes days after health workers and nursing home residents began getting a similar coronavirus shot from Pfizer and BioNTech.
Extra doses from a second vaccine are urgently needed, as U.S. deaths hit all-time highs and some hospitals are running out of beds.
FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. mad the following statement on the authorization:
“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. Through the FDA’s open and transparent scientific review process, two COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized in an expedited timeframe while adhering to the rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization that the American people have come to expect from the FDA. These standards and our review process, which are the same we have used in reviewing the first COVID-19 vaccine and intend to use for any other COVID-19 vaccines, included input from independent scientific and public health experts as well as a thorough analysis of the data by the agency’s career staff.”
But even with additional candidates in the pipeline, there won't be enough for the general population until spring, and shots will be rationed in the meantimeModerna-COVID-19-Vaccine-EUA-Letter-of-Authorization
The Associated Press contributed to this report.