Moderna announced today that their vaccine is highly effective against COVID-19, equaling or surpassing the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine announced last week.
The results come from an interim analysis of 95 cases — 90 in the placebo group and 5 in the vaccine group. The company also disclosed that there were 11 severe cases of Covid-19 in the placebo group and none in the vaccine group, suggesting that the vaccine can prevent the infection’s most lethal aspects.
There were no serious adverse events in the study, and the most common severe adverse events were fatigue, which 9.7% of participants experienced, and myalgia (muscle ache), which 8.9% of participants experienced. The 95 Covid-19 cases included 15 older adults, 12 volunteers who identified as Hispanic or Latinx, 4 who identified as Black, 3 as Asian American, and one as multi-racial.
According to Endpoints News, Moderna’s CEO is highly confident that the vaccine will be approved. “When you look at the efficacy of a vaccine at 95%, when you look at the severe cases,” CEO Stephane’ Bancel said, “it is hard to believe with the number of people we’re losing every day, that with this profile, the FDA will not approve it.”
Moderna said they can manufacture 20 million doses before the end of this year and at least 500 million doses in 2021. They have signed an agreement with the U.S. government to provide 100 million doses, with the government holding an option for 500 million more. If both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are authorized, that would give the U.S. 40 million doses before January. This would be a tremendous achievement in protecting health care workers and first responders, the initial recipients.
The vaccine has much less severe storage requirements than Pfizer’s and reportedly can be kept in regular refrigerators for a week before use, and even kept at room temperature for a day before administration.
Moderna developed their vaccine as a partnership with the NIH with the technology transferred from NIAID’s vaccine research center. They also had several billion dollars backing from the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed.
Again, this success validates the concept of “Operation Warp Speed” and allowing the private sector to develop government developed technology. This success should not be overlooked by the media, who seem reluctant to acknowledge the magnitude of this accomplishment!
The end of this nightmare is in sight.