Late on Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee recommended authorization of Moderna's vaccine candidate for emergency use. The advisory committee helps assure vaccines are safe for the public. The FDA isn't required to follow its recommendations, but typically does.
If the FDA grants an emergency use authorization, Moderna could begin distributing its vaccine throughout the U.S. in the coming weeks. On Dec. 11, the U.S. government struck a deal to acquire another 100 million doses of Moderna's drug, in addition to the 100 million doses it ordered in August.
Moderna's vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, has emerged as one of the most promising drugs that could potentially help end the coronavirus crisis. In a phase 3 trial, the drug demonstrated a 94.1% efficacy against COVID-19. It was also shown to be 100% effective at preventing severe forms of the disease.
"We have been working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed to prepare for the distribution of mRNA-1273, if the FDA chooses to grant an Emergency Use Authorization," Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a press release. "We look forward to getting our vaccine to people in the U.S. to help address this ongoing public health emergency."