Washington, November 30: Shortly after Moderna announced the filing for emergency use authorization before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US Health Secretary Alex Azar said there could be two vaccines which could be launched in the country by next month. His remarks have boosted the prospects of a likely release of the Moderna Inc and Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines before Christmas. Moderna Vaccine Found '100% Effective in Preventing Severe COVID-19 Cases', Emergency Use Authorisation Sought From FDA.

"With today's announcement from Moderna, we'll now have two potential COVID-19 vaccines being reviewed by FDA for emergency use authorization. Science and data are driving the process," Azar said, adding that the federal administration is working in close coordination with the states to ensure timely shipment of the vaccine.

While speaking to the CBS news channel, the Health Secretary claimed that he would hold talks with the state governments and Vice President Mike Pence to discuss the supply of vaccine. Within the provinces, the Governors would decide which groups and districts would be administered with the vaccine first.

See Health Secretary's Tweet

Moderna, in a statement issued today, announced "100 percent effectiveness" of its vaccine candidate to prevent severe COVID-19 cases. Overall, the company has reported a 94.5 percent efficacy. Pfizer, which has developed the rival candidate with Germany's BioNtech, has reported a 95 percent efficacy rate.

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, in a statement issued today, said, "This positive primary analysis confirms the ability of our vaccine to prevent COVID-19 disease with 94.1 percent efficacy and importantly, the ability to prevent severe COVID-19 disease. We believe that our vaccine will provide a new and powerful tool that may change the course of this pandemic and help prevent severe disease, hospitalisations and death."

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 30, 2020 08:17 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).