Based on the interim data, the Moderna Inc’s experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing Covid-19. It is now the second US drugmaker to report results that far exceed expectations.
According to the report, the United States could have two vaccines authorized for emergency use in December with as many as 60 million doses of vaccine available this year, together with Pfizer Inc’s vaccine, which is also more than 90% effective, and pending more safety data and regulatory review.
The US government could have access to more than 1 billion doses just from the two vaccine makers by 2021, more than needed for the country’s 330 million residents.
The vaccines, both developed with new technology known as messenger RNA (mRNA), represent powerful tools to fight a pandemic that has infected 54 million people worldwide and killed 1.3 million. The news also comes at time when Covid-19 cases are soaring, hitting new records in the United States and pushing some European countries back into lockdowns.
Moderna President Stephen Hoge said in a telephone interview said, “We are going to have a vaccine that can stop Covid-19.”
Moderna’s interim analysis was based on 95 infections among trial participants who received either a placebo or the vaccine. Of those, only five infections occurred in those who received the vaccine, which is administered in two shots 28 days apart.
Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London said, “This news from Moderna is tremendously exciting and considerably boosts optimism that we will have a choice of good vaccines in the next few months.”
Adding, “This latest press release is based on a study of 30,000 US adults, including many high-risk or elderly persons. This gives us confidence that the results are relevant in the people who are most at risk of Covid-19.”
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