A new Moderna coronavirus vaccine — which was developed as part of President Donald Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” — is reportedly 94.5% effective, according to the company.
What are the details?
On Monday, the company made a sweeping announcement about the efficacy of its vaccine.
“The analysis evaluated 95 confirmed Covid-19 infections among the trial’s 30,000 participants,” according to a report from CNBC. “Moderna, which developed its vaccine in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said 90 cases of Covid-19 were observed in the placebo group versus 5 cases observed in the group that received its two-dose vaccine. That resulted in an estimated vaccine efficacy of 94.5%.”
In August, the Trump administration awarded Moderna a $1.5 billion contract to develop and deliver at least 100 million vaccine doses.
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said that the Trump administration was an integral part of accelerating the company’s progress in developing the vaccine.
“Moderna is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Operation Warp Speed and McKesson, a COVID-19 vaccine distributor contracted by the U.S. government, as well as global stakeholders to be prepared for distribution of mRNA-1273, in the event that it receives an EUA and similar global authorizations,” the company said in an early Monday statement. “By the end of 2020, the Company expects to have approximately 20 million doses of mRNA-1273 ready to ship in the U.S. The Company remains on track to manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021.”
Bancel added that the company plans to test the vaccine in teenagers “very soon” and, according to CNBC, “followed by children under the age of 12.”
“We have to be very, very careful because safety is priority No. 1,” he added.
The company said it plans to apply for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration over “the coming weeks.”
CNBC reported that shares of the company soared following the news, leaping more than 12 percent during Monday’s premarket trading.
Last week, fellow biotechnology company Pfizer announced it was able to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that was at least 90% effective.
In a statement, Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said, “With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.”
“Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” Bourla added following the announcement of the news. “We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis.