The vaccine can prevent severe disease, says Moderna CEO
US biotech firm Moderna announced on Monday its experimental vaccine against COVID-19 was 94.5% effective, according to early results from a clinical trial with more than 30,000 participants.
“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 Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO.
Interim safety analysis of data shows there have been no significant safety concerns. Side effects were mild or moderate and short-lived. The vaccine is not expected to be available outside the US soon.
In July, Moderna announced that its COVID-19 vaccine induced a strong immune response and prevented the coronavirus from multiplying in the noses and lungs of monkeys, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine said.
Last week Pfizer and BioNtech had announced that their COVID-19 vaccine had shown 90% efficacy after results of the phase 3 of its clinical trial were released.
Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines use mRNA or messenger RNA technology. This is an experimental method where RNA, genetic material from the virus, is used to produce antigens that would allow the body to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
However, Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be stored at a temperature of -70C–which is not possible in hospital or pharmacy refrigerators. Moderna’s vaccine on the other hand can be stored at the standard refrigerator temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius.
Additional reporting by AFP