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Moderna vaccine gives 3 months immunity, firm plans 100m doses

Most of the doses will go to the US

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 4, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Dec 4, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago

Photo: AFP

Moderna plans to have 100 to 125 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine available in the first quarter of 2021, the vast majority of which will go to the United States, the biotechnology company announced Thursday.

Between 85 and 100 million of the doses will be distributed in the United States, with the rest of the world receiving the remaining 15 to 25 million, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said in a statement.

Moderna also confirmed that it expects to have 20 million vaccine doses available in the US by the end of 2020.

The vaccine, which the company says was recently demonstrated to have 94% efficacy, causes the human immune system to produce potent antibodies that endure for at least three months, a study showed Thursday.

Researchers at the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which co-developed the drug, studied the immune response of 34 adult participants, young and old, from the first stage of a clinical trial.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, they said that the antibodies, which stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus from invading human cells, “declined slightly over time, as expected, but they remained elevated in all participants 3 months after the booster vaccination.”

The vaccine, called mRNA-1273, is administered in two injections given 28 days apart.

The company has been working on its American supply and production chain for months, in preparation for the vaccine’s expected emergency approval by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For all countries outside the United States, production will take place in Switzerland.

US officials have said they plan to distribute 40 million vaccine doses by the end of the year, including those produced by Pfizer-BioNTech. That would mean 20 million people vaccinated by the end of 2020, with each person requiring two doses.

The Moderna vaccine will be reviewed by an advisory committee of the FDA on December 17, and could be green lit for emergency approval soon after.

The FDA advisory committee meeting for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which was approved Wednesday by Britain for general use, will take place on December 10.

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