US drug agency approves Moderna’s Covid vaccine

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) late Thursday announced changes that will provide more doses from each vial of Moderna’s vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The federal agency said it authorized the company to use vials that contain 15 doses of its life-saving vaccine, an increase from the 10-dose vials originally approved.

It also said of the 10-dose vials currently available, it classified that the maximum number of extractable doses has been bumped to 11.

The revisions are expected to increase the number of life-saving jabs administrated from a single vial as the United States ramps up its campaign under President Joe Biden’s plan to administer 200 million doses within his first 100 days in office.

“Both these revisions positively impact the supply of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, which will help provide more vaccine doses to communities and allow shots to get into arms more quickly,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologies Evaluation and Research. “Ultimately, more vaccines getting to the public in a timely manner should help bring an end to the pandemic more rapidly.”

The FDA said that the number of extractable doses from either vial size may vary depending on the type of syringes and needles used.

Moderna said that it expects to ship the new 15-dose vials in the coming weeks.

“We are committed to constantly learning and improving to facilitate easier administration of our Covid-19 vaccine for medical staff and accelerate immunization programs,” Stephane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, said in statement. “We remain focused on doing all that we can to help end the Covid-19 pandemic with a vaccine.”

The United States has approved three Covid-19 vaccines, including the one produced by Moderna, which consists of two injections separated by 28 days.

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