Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rated ‘Highly Effective,’ Clearing Final Hurdle for FDA Emergency Use Authorization
No matter how successful the vaccination program is, Americans are justifiably worried that governments will try to keep their expansive new pandemic powers.
The second promising coronavirus vaccine from Moderna has tested 94 percent effective at preventing symptomatic illness and appears to prevent the spread of the virus as well. It looks like all systems are go for FDA “emergency use” approval by the end of the week.
The high efficacy of the Moderna vaccine was noted after two doses given 28 days apart. This is about the same level of effectiveness as the Pfizer vaccine.
But there is also evidence suggesting that just one dose of Moderna’s may stop the virus’s spread. A second document published on the FDA website Tuesday shows asymptomatic infection was reduced by 63 percent after the first shot.
More data are needed to fully understand that finding.
“We’re holding our breath,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
“If we also reduce transmission — make people much less apt to be contagious — as well as protecting them from serious disease, that would be a double bonus,” Schaffner, who is not involved with the Moderna vaccine research, said.
Vice President Mike Pence will publicly receive a Covid-19 vaccine, also by the end of this week.
Pence, who is the head of the White House coronavirus task force, is hoping to “promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people,” the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
His wife, Karen Pence, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams will receive the vaccine at Friday’s event, set to take place at the White House.
Biden is slated to have one the following week.
Meanwhile, vaccinations with the Pfizer vaccine are continuing, but some issues have been reported. In California, the delivery of the coronavirus vaccine was delayed by authorities…impacting tens of thousands of doses.
The first shipment of the coronavirus vaccine to Seton Medical Center, in Daly City, was held up by state officials while crates full of vials for two other medical facilities in California were sent back after they were stored at the wrong temperature, medical officials said Wednesday.
A crate with 975 vaccine vials that were supposed to go to Seton was held up because state regulators had not yet signed off on their delivery to the 357-bed hospital, according to officials at San Mateo Medical Center, where the shipment was being stored Wednesday. Each vial contains five doses of vaccine.
The delay came at about the same time federal officials were ordering shipments to two unspecified California care facilities sent back to the manufacturer because they were stored at lower temperatures than recommended.
The problems came as tens of thousands of doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech were delivered around the country this week.
A healthcare worker in Alaska was reported to have an allergic reaction.
The health care worker, who was identified as a middle-aged woman, had an allergic reaction that included flushing and shortness of breath within 10 minutes of receiving the first of Pfizer’s two-dose jab on Tuesday.
She was still being observed in Bartlett Hospital’s foyer at the time of the incident.
Perhaps, it is most troubling that there are signs that mask mandates will not be removed once vaccinations are widely distributed. For example, Dr. Jason McKnight, a primary care physician at Texas A&M University, insists that vaccinated people should still wear masks because the vaccine isn’t 100% effective.
It will likely be the continued recommendation that everyone wear a mask when in public even after receiving the vaccination for COVID-19. While these vaccines appear to be highly effective in preventing infection from the disease, even at 95% efficacy, that means approximately 5% of people receiving the vaccination may still become infected. Wearing a mask helps decrease the transmission of the virus in those situations in which the vaccine does not prevent the illness.
Further, continuing to wear a mask may help prevent the spread of other respiratory illnesses, which can help prevent overwhelming the health care system, as we are already seeing during the pandemic.
So it is little wonder that according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen, a majority of registered U.S. voters are worried that government officials in the U.S. will retain their newly claimed expansive powers following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sixty-two percent of the respondents said they were somewhat or very worried about American governments holding onto their pandemic powers after the health crisis finally subsides. Just 32% were unconcerned with that prospect.
U.S. governments at all levels have claimed for themselves considerable powers related to the COVID-19 pandemic over 2020, including the power to shut down what they deem “non-essential” businesses, the power to mandate face coverings in most public settings, and even far-reaching regulations on religious life and worship.
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