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COVID-19 Vaccine 94.5% Effective, Says US Biotech Firm, Moderna

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COVID-19 Vaccine 94.5% Effective, Says US Biotech Firm, ModernaUS-based biotech company, Moderna has on Monday announced that its experimental vaccine against COVID-19 was shown to be 94.5 per cent effective.

An interim analysis released on Monday, and based on 95 patients with confirmed COVID-19 infections, found the candidate vaccine to be effective, according to early results from a clinical trial with more than 30,000 participants.

The company said it now plans to apply to the US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, for emergency-use authorisation in the coming weeks.

All final data will also be submitted to the scientific community for independent peer review, which is a standard part of the ultimate vaccine trial and approval process.

The results are the latest encouraging news to emerge from the breakneck effort to develop a vaccine against coronavirus and follow a similar interim analysis earlier this month from a collaboration between Pfizer and the German firm BioNTech, which suggest its vaccine is 90% effective at preventing illness.

The Moderna vaccine is not expected to be available outside the US until next year. The biotech said it would have 20 million doses ready to ship in the US before the end of 2020 and hoped to manufacture 500 million to one billion doses globally next year.

The vaccine, which is based on similar mRNA technology as BioNTech’s, is expected to be assessed by the FDA on a final analysis of 151 COVID-19 cases among trial participants who will be followed on average for more than two months.

If the results remain as impressive as the trial goes on, the Moderna vaccine could potentially provide a major advantage over the Pfizer vaccine.

While Pfizer’s vaccine requires ultracold freezing between -70C and -80C from production facility to patient, Moderna said it had improved the shelf life and stability of its own vaccine.

This means that it can be stored at standard refrigeration temperatures of 2C to 8C for 30 days. The company said it can be stored for six months at -20C for shipping and long-term storage.

This is another very promising sign for the potential of having effective vaccines available to the public in some kind of significant volume at some point next year.

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