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US approves new COVID-19 vaccine as cases surge past 17m

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US approves new COVID-19 vaccine as cases surge past 17m

Health authorities in the United States of America have approved the emergency use of Moderna vaccine as cases of the deady COVID-19 disease surpass 17 million across the country.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to approve Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine on an emergency basis, the Financial Times reported, citing people close to the process.

Reports say the approval was given on Thursday as an unrelenting COVID-19 surge pushed besieged hospitals further to the brink as the US pressed on with its immunisation roll-out and preparation to ship nearly six million doses of a new vaccine.

Dr James Hildreth, chief executive of Meharry Medical College, who voted to recommend the vaccine for emergency use, lauded efforts to develop the vaccines at the panel meeting yesterday.

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“To go from having a [genetic] sequence of a virus in January to having two vaccines available in December is a remarkable achievement,” Hildreth said.

According to a tally by Reuters, the number of US cases rose by at least 239,018 yesterday driving the number of known COVID-19 infections nationally to more than 17 million.

This came a day after the US set a new double daily record after confirming more than 3,700 deaths and over 250,000 new Covid-19 cases in just 24 hours, as the pandemic continues to persist.

The figures were provided on Wednesday by Johns Hopkins University which also revealed that the US has seen a spectacular spike in Covid-19 infections for more than a month now, with some 113,000 people currently hospitalised.

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