Speed Reads

Solving COVID

FDA panel greenlights Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

An advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration determined on Thursday it would recommend the agency authorize Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, saying the benefits outweighed the risks associated with the highly-effective vaccine candidate.

The recommendation is a major step in getting a second vaccine approved for emergency use, following the FDA's authorization of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine last week. The FDA reportedly plans to authorize Moderna's vaccine on Friday, which would allow 5.9 million doses to begin shipment to 3,285 locations around the United States. Moderna's vaccine makes for simpler distribution than Pfizer's because it does not require ultra-cold storage conditions. The smaller batches can be stored in regular freezers, making it more accessible to hospitals in less-populated areas.

Wednesday marked yet another record in the country's daily COVID-19 case count and death toll. The federal government has purchased 200 million doses of Moderna's vaccine. Read more at The Washington Post and The New York Times.