U.S. CDC backs full approval of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

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A healthcare worker prepares a syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site operated by SOMOS Community Care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 29, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

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Feb 4 (Reuters) - The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signed off on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's full approval of Moderna Inc's (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine in those aged 18 and over, the agency said on Friday.

The vaccine has been in use under the U.S Food and Drug Administration's emergency use authorization since December 2020, and is now the second fully approved vaccine for COVID-19 in the United States.

Earlier on Friday, a CDC panel voted unanimously to recommend the vaccine's use, after the FDA granted full approval of the shot on Monday.

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While the FDA approves vaccines, the CDC needs to sign off on how they will be implemented in the United States. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky's green light is the final formality of the approval process.

The vaccine will now be sold under the brand name as Spikevax.

The COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and BioNTech SE received full approval for those aged 16 and over in August.

Roughly 75 million people in the United States have been fully-vaccinated with Moderna's shot.

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Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru and Michael Erman in New Jersey; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Anil D'Silva

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