Second Covid-19 Vaccine Near Approval
Following the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, comes the possible approval of a second vaccine from Moderna. With 94% efficacy and “no specific safety concerns” per the FDA, the promising vaccine could be given the go ahead for emergency use with 6 million doses to be shipped immediately to the United States.
The Moderna vaccine requires a second shot four weeks after the initial dose, and has only reported side effects of fatigue, headache, muscle soreness and injection site pain, according to the FDA. Experts say that a second vaccine could change the United State’s path with the pandemic, but it will not be enough to change the course of the next few months.
Dr. Moncef Slaoui of Operation Warp Speed says that 20 million Americans can expect to get their first Moderna shot by the end of December, and 100 million may be vaccinated by March -- about a third of the country. While vaccines may finally be rolling out and those who are high-priority will be protected from Covid-19, many Americans will still be left to fight the virus without vaccination.
According to data from John Hopkins University, the United States has now surpassed 16 million cases of coronavirus and more than 300,000 deaths. Among all the states, California is being hit the hardest, having averaged over 30,000 new cases per day this week and the state's available ICU capacity falling to just 5.7%.
A new vaccine may give hope to a new path for the pandemic, but the continuous increase in cases show that this is far from over for Americans. As we await more vaccines, it is important that we continue to wear masks, wash our hands and only engage in essential activity while maintaining 6ft of distance from those around us.