Moderna COVID-19 vaccine nearly 95 percent effective in trials

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A new vaccine that protects against coronavirus is almost 95 percent effective, according to early data from US company Moderna.

A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a “Vaccine COVID-19” sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. /VCG

The results follow similar results from Pfizer and add to growing confidence that vaccines can help end the pandemic.

Both companies used a highly innovative and experimental approach to designing their vaccines.

Moderna says it is 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.

In the trial, the Moderna vaccine, which was co-developed by the US National Institutes of Health, was given in two doses 28 days apart, and the preliminary results are based on the 95 of the 30,000 volunteers who fell ill with Covid-19.

Of that 95, 90 received a placebo while five people received the actual vaccine.  That translates to a 94.5% efficacy rate.

The data also shows there 11 people in the placebo group developed severe cases of COVID-19

However, it is not known how long immunity will last as volunteers will have to be followed for much longer before that can be answered.

Both vaccines use the same approach of injecting part of the virus’s genetic code in order to provoke an immune response.

TIt’s not yet clear how effective either vaccine is at protecting elderly citizens, who are most at risk of dying from COVID-19

 

(With input from agencies)

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