Moderna became the second vaccine manufacturer to request authorization to use the product.
WASHINGTON – Distribution of the first two coronavirus vaccines in the United States could begin before Christmas, Health Secretary Alex Azar announced.
The announcement came after Moderna became the second vaccine manufacturer to request U.S. approval for emergency use.
Later Monday, Vice President Mike Pence discussed with state governors which groups should be vaccinated first.
“A week ago, Pfizer applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency approval for a vaccine developed by the company,” Azar said.
The minister recalled that the U.S. regulator has scheduled a meeting on December 10 to approve the Pfizer vaccine.
“We can get approval within a few days after that… Moderna is about a week behind… The vaccine will begin to be delivered within 24 hours of receiving the approval… So we can watch both vaccines come out and fall into people’s hands before Christmas,” Azar added.
Earlier, the U.S. administration sent $486 million to Moderna to develop a coronavirus vaccine and $456 million to Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical. $1.2 billion were provided to AstraZeneca, which develops the vaccine together with scientists from Oxford University.
The vaccine is also being developed in the USA by Merck and Pfizer. According to the White House, the administration has invested a total of $12 billion in these projects.
Meanwhile, Moderna on Monday confirmed an application for approval of its Coronavirus vaccine to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The application was posted on the company’s Twitter page.
“Moderna data for the request for emergency authorization of the use of mRNA-1273 vaccine have been sent to the FDA,” the statement said.
November 16, the U.S. company informed that during the third phase of the trial, which was attended by 30 thousand people, its vaccine showed an efficiency of 94.5%.
According to the statement of the American regulator, the meeting at which the application for registration of this vaccine will be considered is scheduled for December 17. The meeting will be attended by American scientists and health experts and will be broadcast live.
When the use of the vaccine can be approved, the regulator will not report.
Moderna expects that distribution of the vaccine throughout the United States will begin “shortly after receiving emergency use approval.
The vaccine has been tested on a group of 30,000 people.
Tests showed that the vaccine is generally well tolerated.
Moderna vaccine is second in line for approval for use. On November 20, American company Pfizer and German BioNTech submitted a request for emergency use of their vaccine in the USA.
The request is expected to take at least several weeks to process.
The emergency use request is a request to start using the drug before absolutely all the body tests have been completed.