Moderna applies for full coronavirus vaccine approval

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – US drugmaker Moderna applied to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday for full approval of its coronavirus vaccine.

The vaccine is currently being distributed under an Emergency Use Authority, as are all three of the drugs currently in circulation. Moderna is the second pharmaceutical company to apply for the full license under what is known as a "rolling submission process."

Pfizer-BioNTech was the first to do so with US health authorities on May 7.

Moderna is seeking to have the prospective license cover use in adults 18 years and older.

The US is in the midst of a sweeping campaign initiated by President Joe Biden to ensure 70% of the American population gets at least one shot by the July 4 holiday. While Maryland and California became the 11th and 12th states to meet that goal on Monday, there is a wide disparity among states in progress toward the benchmark.

Vaccination rates have lagged in several solidly conservative states, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Idaho, which have just over one-third of their populations having received at least one dose.