Bob Mason
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A worker wearing a protective suit stands in front of an electronic display board in the lobby of the Shanghai Stock Exchange building in Shanghai, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. The Shanghai Composite index tumbled 8.7% Monday then rebounded slightly as Chinese regulators moved to stabilize markets reopening from a prolonged national holiday despite a rising death toll from a new virus that has spread to more than 20 countries. (AP Photo)

The Latest

On Thursday, U.S FDA advisors voted in favor of Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

A 20 versus 0 votes, with one abstention, was even more conclusive than the 17 versus 4 votes in favor of the BioNTech/Pfizer Inc. vaccine.

Some concerns over the administering of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine to 16-18-year-olds had led to the 4 votes against.

By contrast, the Moderna Inc. vaccine is for ages of 18 years and over, reducing concerns over the side effects of the vaccine on younger age groups.

In response to the review, the FDA announced that it expects to approve Moderna Inc.’s EUA by later today.


What’s next?

Once the FDA approves the EUA, Moderna Inc. expects to deliver 20 million doses to the U.S by the end of the month. That’s enough to vaccinate 10 million in the U.S. An additional 80 million are then due for delivery by the 1st quarter and an additional 100 million in the 2nd quarter.

Based on the CDC’s prioritizations, the first batch would cover a large proportion of phase 1a recipients.

With the number of new COVID-19 cases continuing to rise alongside death tolls, there will be a sense of urgency.

In contrast to the Pfizer Inc. vaccine, the transportation and distribution of the Moderna Inc. vaccine are far less onerous.

The vaccine can be reportedly transported in a liquid state at standard refrigerated temperatures. This will mean that Moderna Inc. will likely be delivered to key areas much more quickly over the next week.

Moderna Inc. will need to avoid supply chain and production capacity issues to deliver the 20 million doses.

The Latest COVID-19 Numbers

At the time of writing, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases stood at 75,283,501. The total number of U.S cases has risen to 17,627,030, with the total number of related deaths rising to 317,929.

Things also remain dire in other parts of the world, with new cases continue to spike in the winter months.

Moderna Inc.’s vaccine comes at a desperate time. More will vaccine approvals will be needed, however, to curb the spread of the virus.

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