Vaccine coming soon
The good news about vaccines that we’ve all been waiting for has been proclaimed.
COVID-19 vaccines could be available by as early as mid-December to front-line health care workers in the United States.
Representatives for Moderna and Pfizer, two pharmaceutical companies producing and testing vaccines to relieve the country of the pandemic, announced the good news.
On Monday, Moderna sought emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to administer its COVID-19 vaccine, which the company says is 94.1 percent effective at preventing the virus and 100 percent effective at preventing severe cases of the disease.
Moderna is the second company to apply to the FDA for emergency use authorization for a coronavirus vaccine. Pfizer applied on Nov. 20 and the company’s trial found the vaccine was 95 percent effective in preventing infections.
Both vaccines require two doses a few weeks apart. Both companies have reported that their vaccines could also induce some side effects that are similar to symptoms associated with COVID-19, including muscle pain, chills and headaches.
The FDA will meet with its advisory committee on Dec. 10 to review Pfizer’s emergency application and on Dec. 17 to review Moderna’s application.
Once the FDA grants the companies emergency use authorization, an advisory committee at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly will make recommendations about who should get the shots first, which will likely include health care workers and nursing home residents, it was reported.
A CDC advisory committee is meeting this week to decide who will be the first to the get the vaccine in the country.
Moderna representatives reported Monday that the company expects to have about 20 million doses of its vaccine available in the U.S. by the end of the month and is on track to manufacture 500 million to one billion doses globally next year.
If granted authorization, about 6.4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine with be distributed in the U.S. this month, it was reported.
Back in May, Operation Warp Speed (OWS) was established in partnerships with several federal agencies with a goal of delivering 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.
Congress has directed about $10 billion to OWS through supplemental funding, including the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act.
Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, the director of OWS’s supply, production and distribution, said this week that everyone who wants a vaccine should be able to get one by June 2021. According to the CDC, a total of 266,051 deaths have been reported, so far, in the U.S., including four in Jackson County, stemming from 13,295,605 positive COVID-19 cases nationwide.