The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
The advisory committee voted Saturday to recommend the vaccine for people 18 years of age and older in the United States, clearing another hurdle before the vaccine can be distributed, according to CNN.
The recommendation now goes to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, who is expected to accept it sometime this weekend.
On Friday night, the Food and Drug Administration approved Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use authorization for individuals 18 years of age and older, making it the second COVID-19 vaccine approved by the FDA.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in a statement, "With the availability of two vaccines now for the prevention of COVID-19, the FDA has taken another crucial step in the fight against this global pandemic that is causing vast numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States each day."
Hahn added, “Through the FDA’s open and transparent scientific review process, two COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized in an expedited timeframe while adhering to the rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization that the American people have come to expect from the FDA."
The Pfizer vaccine was approved last week for emergency use
An FDA advisory panel recommended the Moderna vaccine for emergency use authorization on Thursday. The vote was 20-0. One panel member abstained.
Members of the committee voted on the following question, following a day of discussing the pros and cons of the vaccine: "Based on the totality of scientific evidence available, do the benefits of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine outweigh its risks for use in individuals 18 years of age and older?"
Moderna's study found that it provided 94% protection against COVID-19 in a study of 30,000 people.
While the FDA found no severe allergic reactions in Moderna's study -- a pair of Alaska healthcare workers had severe reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week -- the agency found a slightly higher rate of less serious side effects, such as rashes, hives and itching.