WASHINGTON 

An outside advisory panel on Thursday recommended that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorize the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.  

The panel voted 20-0 with one abstention, paving the way for a final green light from the FDA for use of the vaccine in individuals aged 18 years and older.

If approved, Moderna’s vaccine will be the second coronavirus vaccine in the US after Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, which was authorized by the FDA last week.

The FDA’s approval for emergency use is expected quickly.

On Tuesday, an FDA report said the Moderna vaccine is 94.5% efficient with “no specific safety concerns identified that would preclude” issuance of emergency use authorization.

“The vaccine elicited increased local and systemic adverse reactions as compared to those in the placebo arm, usually lasting a few days,” the report said.

A New York healthcare worker received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Monday.

The country’s coronavirus-related deaths exceed 310,000 and over 17.1 million cases have been registered so far, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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