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FDA says Moderna vaccine highly effective and safe

FILE - In this July 27, 2020, file photo, nurse Kathe Olmstead prepares a shot that is part of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., in Binghamton, N.Y. Moderna Inc. says it will ask U.S. and European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

WASHINGTON — The Moderna vaccine is safe, highly effective and offers increased protection from COVID-19, according to documents released by the Food and Drug Administration.

In this initial data release, as part of its public review process, where the FDA backed up Moderna’s internal assessment that their vaccine was found to be 94.1% effective during its trial of about 30,000 people.

The data also confirmed that some participants did experience minor side effects including pain at the injection site, fatigue, headaches or chills.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet Thursday to hear from Moderna before they vote on whether to recommend an Emergency Use Authorization.

“[Two successful vaccines] should give us all hope that actually a vaccine is going to be able to stop this pandemic and, hopefully, get us back to our lives,” Moderna CEO Dr. Stephen Hoge said last month

“We hope to be able to deliver up to 20 million doses of the vaccine by the end of this year, this calendar year, in December, and then many tens of millions of doses per month during 2021.”

Like the vaccine developed by Pfizer, the Moderna vaccine will also require two shots, weeks apart, to be most effective. But it will not need to be kept as cold as Pfizer’s vaccine, which will help with delivery and storage. 

If approved, distribution will likely begin Monday.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States


Why is KSL NewsRadio covering this?

We have a lot of questions about the vaccines currently being tested for COVID-19, and we know you do, too. We wanted to provide answers to those questions.

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We would love to hear your ideas. You can email our team at If you are hoping to reach a specific member of our team, you can also contact them directly through our bios, here.