WASHINGTON | President Donald Trump sowed confusion on Friday by claiming that a second vaccine, Moderna’s, had been “approved” in the United States, even before health officials confirmed that they had given the green light to the remedy.
• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic
• Read also: Advisory committee recommends authorization of Moderna vaccine
“Moderna’s vaccine overwhelmingly approved. Distribution will begin immediately, ”the US president tweeted early Friday morning.
The decision of the United States Medicines Agency (FDA) is expected later Friday, after the recommendation by an expert committee the day before to authorize this vaccine, a week after that of Pfizer. At the end of a day of hearings broadcast live, this advisory committee voted in favor of the authorization, with 20 votes in favor, none against and only one abstention.
Asked by AFP on Donald Trump’s statement, the FDA simply referred to its statement dated Thursday, explaining that the agency would “quickly work on the finalization and issuance of the emergency authorization” of the vaccine, after the vote of the advisory committee.
A week ago, the FDA authorized Pfizer’s antidote the day after the meeting of this same committee, under pressure from Donald Trump, impatient to see the start of the vast vaccination campaign in the country on which he has everything. bet to respond to the coronavirus health crisis.
Vice President Mike Pence, who was receiving an injection of Pfizer’s vaccine in public minutes after Donald Trump’s tweet, said formal approval of Moderna’s vaccine was expected shortly: “We have a, and can -be in a few hours, two safe and effective vaccines against the coronavirus ”.
“When approved, which we expect later today, we will be in a position to send vaccines across the country next week,” he added.
Moderna’s vaccine has been found safe and effective by the FDA, in a summary of data released earlier this week, leaving little doubt about its future authorization.
The published analysis confirmed an average efficacy of 94.1%.
The United States has pre-purchased 200 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, compared to Pfizer’s 100 million. The two vaccines are taken in two doses spaced four and three weeks apart, respectively.