Moderna vaccine now fully approved to fight COVID-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added the Moderna vaccine as a fully approved COVID-19 vaccine to the fight against the virus. Moderna’s vaccine has been authorized for emergency use since December 2020. The FDA fully approved the vaccine on January 31, 2022, for use in adults age 18 and older. It will now be marketed under the brand name Spikevax. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (Comirnaty) was the first to be fully FDA-approved. Comirnaty was approved on August 23, 2021, for individuals age 16 and older.

Moderna vaccine approved for mixing and matching

Spikevax has the same formulation as the emergency use authorized Moderna vaccine. Like Comirnaty, it is an mRNA vaccine and is administered as a primary series of two injected doses, one month apart. A third primary dose may be needed for certain immunocompromised individuals. As of January 27, 2022, 67.6% of people ages 5 years and older in the United States are fully vaccinated.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 75 million people have already received two doses of Moderna’s emergency use authorized vaccine. The CDC recommends people ages 18 years and older who received a Moderna primary series should get a booster shot at least 5 months after completing their primary series. The CDC recommends getting a booster dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) in most situations.

According to the FDA, “The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is also authorized for use as a heterologous (or “mix and match”) single booster dose for individuals 18 years of age and older following completion of primary vaccination with a different available COVID-19 vaccine. For example, Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and Janssen COVID-19 vaccine recipients 18 years of age and older may receive a single booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.”

COVID-19 vaccines prevent severe illness

The Omicron variant continues to drive up infection cases across the nation. In the last 30 days, more than 75.3 million cases have been reported. High community transmission rates and the danger of serious, life-threatening illness underscore the continued need for widespread vaccination and booster shots.

Two new CDC reports show that people who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines have the highest amount of protection against both the Delta and Omicron variants.One report found that, compared to up-to-date adults, unvaccinated adults had five times the risk of infection and more than 50 times the risk of COVID-19-associated death. A second report found that a third dose (either an additional primary dose or booster dose) of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines) was highly effective at preventing emergency and urgent care visits and hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

According to FDA effectiveness evaluation data, Spikevax was 98 percent effective in preventing severe disease. In response to the approval of Spikevax, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Dr. Peter Marks stated, “Safe and effective vaccines are our best defense against the COVID-19 pandemic, including currently circulating variants. The public can be assured that this vaccine was approved in keeping with the FDA’s rigorous scientific standards.”

Let us help

Turenne PharMedCo has trained, immunization-certified pharmacists and nurses to administer vaccines. During the on-site clinics, our pharmacists and nurses will vaccinate your residents and staff to help continue the fight against COVID-19. Click here to learn more about our vaccination service in Alabama and to complete a vaccine clinic request form. For convenience, a consent form for vaccine recipients and vaccine fact sheets from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are also available for download on our website. To request a clinic in Tennessee, call 1-866-710-7626.