Cover The Moderna vaccine against COVID-19 | Photo: Ian Hutchinson on Unsplash

To combat the deadly COVID-19, the Philippines' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for American-developed Moderna vaccines. Here is everything we know about it so far.

Around the globe, people await the vaccine that could finally put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the World Health Organisation Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (WHO-SAGE) issued Interim recommendations for use of the Moderna mRNA-1273 in January, a lot of questions were raised about the product. 

In this article, Tatler gathers the answers to commonly asked questions about the Moderna vaccine so you may be spared from countless hours of digging the net. 

WHAT IS MODERNA VACCINE? 

The Moderna vaccine is developed by American drug firm Moderna, it has been one of three shots used in the US vaccination program, together with Pfizer (produced by German biotech firm BioNTech and US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer) and Johnson and Johnson's (developed by Janssen) vaccines. It is also the seventh vaccine granted emergency use approval in the Philippines. 

Read more: Pfizer, Moderna and More: A Look At COVID-19 Vaccines 2021

 

HOW MANY INJECTIONS ARE NEEDED?

People who took the first jab of the Moderna vaccine need to come back for another one after 28 days of rest time. This means that two doses of Moderna must be administered so a person can fully enjoy the benefits of the vaccine. 

WHO CAN TAKE THE VACCINE?

The Moderna vaccine is proven safe and effective even in people with severe disease like hypertension, diabetes, asthma, pulmonary, liver or kidney disease, and chronic infections that are stable and controlled. People with HIV and breastfeeding women may also take two jabs of the vaccine. 

According to WHO, further studies are needed for immunocompromised persons who wish to take the vaccine. "People in this category who are part of a group recommended for vaccination may be vaccinated after receiving information and counselling," the organisation noted. 

CAN PREGNANT WOMEN BE INJECTED WITH MODERNA?

Yes, pregnant women who are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19, can take the Moderna vaccine after careful deliberations and in consultation with their health care providers. 

Read also: PH COVID-19 Vaccination Simplified: Timeline, Status, And More

WHO ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE MODERNA VACCINE?

If a person has a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine, he or she is advised not to take Moderna vaccines or any other mRNA vaccine.

People who are younger than 18 years old are also advised not to take Moderna. 

Meanwhile, frail older persons with an anticipated life expectancy of three months (or fewer) are asked to have an individual assessment with their healthcare providers. 

IS THE VACCINE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE? 

Yes, the Moderna vaccine is safe and effective. In fact, the Moderna vaccine has an efficacy of approximately 92 per cent in protecting against COVID-19, starting 14 days after the first dose.

DOES THE PH HAVE MODERNA VACCINES ALREADY? 

On 5 May 2021, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Moderna vaccines. In a press briefing last March, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said that 20 million doses of the vaccine could likely arrive in the country as early as the end of May or early June.

“We’re hoping that we will have the first deliveries by either end of May or early part of June. That's our target,” Romualdez said.

Related: AstraZeneca: 5 Things You Need To Know About This COVID-19 Vaccine

RED CROSS SELLS MODERNA VACCINES?

For those who can no longer wait for the government's vaccination aid, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said that it will offer two jabs of the vaccine for PHP 3,500. "Those of you who cannot wait, you pay P3,500 and that is two doses already," said chair Richard Gordon. 

Gordon's statement was clarified by PRC Governor Carissa Coscolluela who denied that the organisation would sell the vaccines. She said that the price is only set for members and donors “who are willing to bear the cost of the vaccines”.

“To set the record straight, PRC Chairman Richard Gordon never announced that the Red Cross is selling vaccines. He stressed the need to act fast and vaccinate as many people as we can,” Coscolluela said in a statement. 

In an earlier news briefing, Gordon announced that the PRC ordered 200,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine for 100,000 people. 

More from Tatler: COVID-19 PH Updates For May 2021: Cases, Hospital Occupancy Rate, And More