The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday night authorized a second coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.
With the authorization of the Moderna vaccine, 5.9 million Moderna doses could be delivered next week, joining 2 million allocated next week from Pfizer, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said earlier this week.
Friday night’s authorization will, in the end, bring speedier relief, Azar said in a statement after the FDA’s announcement.
“Authorization of Moderna’s vaccine means we can accelerate the vaccination of frontline healthcare workers and Americans in long-term-care facilities, and, ultimately, bring a faster end to this pandemic.”
The Department of Defense “stands ready to work with our public and private-sector partners to ensure doeses reach Americans as soon as possible,” Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said in the statement. “Together, we will bring this pandemic to an end.”
The country’s average number of daily cases across a week was 216,674 on Thursday — a record high, John’s Hopkins University data show. That’s more than three times what the daily case average was during a summer peak in July.
More than 1.51 million new coronavirus cases were reported in the US this past week — the most ever for one week, according to JHU. That means new infections were reported in roughly 1 in 216 people in the US this week alone.
The nation averaged 2,633 Covid-19 deaths daily across the last week — the highest average yet. The total reported Thursday, 3,270, is the third-highest daily total on record.