WASHINGTON— The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized two changes to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine that can provide extra doses from each vial.
The agency said late Thursday it approved new vials from Moderna that can contain up to 15 doses each, compared with the original vials designed to hold 10 doses. Additionally, regulators said providers can safely extract up to 11 doses from the original 10-dose vials. Those changes will be added to instructions for health care workers.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said Friday, “We’re awaiting direction from the CDC and Operation Warp Speed on when that change will take effect at the federal level,” in response to a question about when the changes could come to Texas.
The dosing updates should help bolster U.S. supplies and speed vaccinations as the U.S. nears 100 million inoculations against COVID-19. President Joe Biden has vowed to provide enough shots to vaccinate all U.S. adults by late May and recently set a new goal of administering 200 million injections within his first 100 days in office.
Moderna said in a statement it plans to begin shipping the new 15-dose vials in coming weeks. The company submitted updated data to FDA showing how much vaccine can be extracted from each vial using different types of syringes.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
VACCINES: More than 99.6 million people, or 30% of the U.S. population, have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 56 million people, or 16.9% of the population, have completed their vaccination.
CASES: The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. increased over the past two weeks from 54,973 on March 17 to 64,029 on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
DEATHS: The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the U.S. decreased over the past two weeks decreased from 1,220 on March 17 to 940 on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.