US awaits word on 2nd vaccine as COVID-19 outbreak worsens

FILE - In this July 27, 2020, file photo, a nurse prepares a shot as a study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway in Binghamton, N.Y. The U.S. is poised to give the green light as early as Friday, Dec. 18, to a second COVID-19 vaccine, a critical new weapon against the surging coronavirus. Doses of the vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of Health will give a much-needed boost to supplies as the biggest vaccination effort in the nation’s history continues. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is adding a second COVID-19 vaccine to its arsenal. The Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use Friday of the vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health. The decision comes days after health workers and nursing home residents began getting a similar coronavirus shot from Pfizer and BioNTech. Extra doses from a second vaccine are urgently needed, as U.S. deaths hit all-time highs and some hospitals are running out of beds. But even with additional candidates in the pipeline, there won’t be enough for the general population until spring, and shots will be rationed in the meantime. 

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