A new coronavirus vaccine produced by Moderna shows nearly 95% protection against Covid-19.
The results from the early data are hot, similar to similar results from Pfizer, and add to the growing confidence that vaccines can help end the pandemic.
Pfizer and Moderna used an extremely innovative and experimental approach in designing their vaccines.
Moderna says it’s a “great day” and they plan to apply for approval to use the vaccine in the next few weeks.
However, this is still early data and key questions remain unanswered.
The study involved 30,000 people in the United States, half of whom were given two doses of the vaccine four weeks apart. The others had fictitious injections.
The analysis is based on the first 95 who develop symptoms of Covid-19.
Only five of Covid’s cases were in people who received the vaccine, 90 in those who received sham treatment. The company says the vaccine protects 94.5% of people.
The data also show that there were 11 cases of severe Covid in the process, but none occurred in people who were immunized.
Coronavirus: The Pfizer vaccine offers 90% protection
Moderna says it will apply to US regulators in the coming weeks. It is expected that 20 million doses will be available in the country.
The company hopes to have up to a billion doses available for use worldwide next year and plans to seek approval in other countries.
We still do not know how long the immunity will last, as the volunteers will have to be monitored much longer before they can respond.
There are hints that it offers some protection in the older age groups that are most at risk of dying from Kovid, but there is no complete data.
It is not known whether the vaccine simply stops people from becoming seriously ill or stops them from spreading the virus.
All of these issues will affect the way the coronavirus vaccine is used.
No significant safety concerns have been reported, but nothing, including paracetamol, is 100% safe.
Short-term fatigue, headache and pain have been reported in some patients after the injection.
Both vaccines use the same approach to inject part of the genetic code of the virus to elicit an immune response.
The preliminary data we have seen so far are very similar – about 90% protection for the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and about 95% for Moderna.
However, both attempts are still ongoing and the final figures may change.
The Moderna vaccine appears to be easier to store as it remains stable at minus 20 ° C for up to six months and can be stored in a standard refrigerator for up to a month.
The Pfizer vaccine requires ultra-cold storage at about minus 75 ° C, but can be stored in the refrigerator for five days.
The Sputnik V vaccine, developed in Russia, also published very early data suggesting that it was 92% effective.