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UPDATE 3-FDA expert panel endorses Moderna coronavirus vaccine

(Recasts with panel vote backing Moderna vaccine)

Dec 17 (Reuters) - A panel of outside advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday endorsed emergency use of Moderna Inc’s coronavirus vaccine, virtually assuring a second option for protecting against COVID-19 for a pandemic ravaged nation.

The committee voted 20-0 with one abstention that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh its risks in people aged 18 and older, one week after the same panel backed a similar vaccine from Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech SE, leading to an FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) a day later.

Reporting by Manas Mishra and Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Caroline Humer and Bill Berkrot

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