The Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19.

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.

Moderna CEO Bancel

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.

Published by jbakerjrblog

Immunologist, former Army MD, former head of allergy and clinical immunology at University of Michigan, vaccine developer and opinionated guy.

11 thoughts on “The Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19.

  1. Great news!

    Is the garbled first sentence the product of faulty dictation software, haunted autospell, or early morning Fat Thumb Syndrome?


      1. Agreed! And nice to see both companies successes now. And who knows what other kinds of vaccines may be developed in the using these approaches. Exciting!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim, for a lay person like me, how do they come up with that 94.5% figure?

    And piggybacking on, isn’t the figure of only 5 people receiving both the vaccine and the virus an awful small sample size ?


    1. Some confusion here. The efficacy is based on a 95.4% reduction in infections compared to the placebo group. This means that 90 people had documented infection in the placebo group and 5 had an infection in the vaccine group. This is a highly significant reduction and suggests similar efficacy in the future. Also, 40,000 people were given the vaccine, so the overall safety database is significant.

      You may think that this is a low number of infected people, but no one was purposely given the infection and my guess is that these folks social distanced and wore masks. So the infection rate in the placebo group (1/3 of the total in the placebo group or 90 infections/13,000) is 0.7 %, similar to positive testing rates seen in many states over the summer.


      1. Thanks, Jim – a great, easy to read analysis, even I can understand it. I think a lot of what I am reading leaves out the 40,000 number, which as you say is significant.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. When you say 40 million doses by the end of the year, does that mean 40 million people can get vaccinated? Or 20 million people if they require two doses?

    Liked by 1 person

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