Federal advisers on Thursday overwhelmingly recommended an emergency clearance to Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine, while noting concerns about potential allergic reactions and the challenges of continued testing of this medicine.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put Moderna's application before its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. The panel voted 20-0 on this question: "Based on the totality of scientific evidence available, do the benefits of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine outweigh its risks for use in individuals 18 years of age and older?" There was one abstention.
The FDA is not bound to act on the recommendations of its advisers, but the agency usually takes the panel's advice. The FDA cleared the similar Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on December 11 through an emergency use authorization (EUA), following a positive vote for the product at a December 10 advisory committee meeting. In this case, the FDA staff appeared to be pushing for a broad endorsement of the Moderna vaccine, for which the agency appears likely to soon also grant an EUA.
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