Actual syringes of the Pfizer vaccine. The FDA announced late Thursday that it would issue an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Moderna’s COVID vaccine, bringing our immunization arsenal to a total of two. This vaccine is similar to the Pfizer/BioNTech one that got an EUA last week. It’s great news that we have two vaccines now, even though they are similar, because this means two companies are now able to make and distribute doses for the vaccine. The supply is still very limited, so only a few people have managed to get the vaccine so far—mainly doctors and other healthcare workers . So two vaccines are approved? Not approved, “emergency use authorized.” This is basically a temporary approval for use while the pandemic is raging. The FDA expects both companies to continue doing studies and to apply for full approval when they can. The difference is important because an EUA can be quickly revoked if there is new information that gives reason to believe it’s not safe enough or effective enough. It also only applies during emergency conditions, so if COVID vaccines are to become part of our new normal, they’ll eventually have to go through all the same paperwork as any other vaccine. Also, as I write, the second EUA hasn’t actually been granted. When the Pfizer vaccine was up for consideration last week, the FDA’s advisory panel met on Thursday, and the FDA cranked out the official paperwork by Friday night. They don’t seem to be in […]