A US-developed vaccine by biotech firm Moderna has been shown to be 94.5% effective at protecting people from Coronavirus (Covid-19), according to interim results. It follows last week’s announcement by the US pharmaceutical group Pfizer that its own vaccine was showing 90% effectiveness against the illness.
Moderna released a statement on Monday to announce early results from a clinical trial that will have more than 30,000 participants were almost 95% effective, marking a second major breakthrough in the race to end the pandemic.
‘This positive interim analysis from our Phase 3 study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent Covid-19 disease, including severe disease,’ said Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel.
Moderna aims to submit applications for emergency approval in the US and around the world within weeks. It has said that it is on track to manufacture between 500 million to a billion doses globally in 2021.
The Moderna vaccine, also known as mRNA-1273 and co-developed by the US National Institutes of Health, was given in two doses 28 days apart, and the preliminary results are based on just 95 people out of 30,000 volunteers who fell ill with Covid-19.
Moderna said that of the 95 Covid-19 cases, 15 people were older adults (aged 65 or over) and 20 participants were identified as being ‘from diverse communities (including 12 Hispanic or LatinX, 4 Black or African Americans, 3 Asian Americans and 1 multiracial)’. The demographics of its 30,000 volunteers can be found by clicking here. Most of the vaccine’s side-effects were classed as mild or moderate. About 10% had fatigue, 9% had muscle pain, 5% had joint pain or headaches, 4% had other pain and 2% had redness at the injection site.
Crucially, Moderna also announced that its vaccine can remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit to 46 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 days. The company added it could be kept in long-term storage at standard freezer temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to six months.
Pfizer’s vaccine, on the other hand, needs to be stored in deep-freezer conditions of -70 degrees Celsius (-94 degrees Fahrenheit) which could complicate supply chain logistics, particularly in less developed countries.
For further information on the Moderna vaccine, you can visit: www.modernatx.com/COVID19
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