Last week, there were a series of announcements about vaccines against the coronavirus. Moderna Pharmaceutics announced today that its vaccine is more than 94.5% effective. In addition, it has a significant advantage over its competitor Pfizer.
On November 9, Pfizer announced that its vaccine against Covid-19 was 90% effective, followed by Russia, which declared on November 11 that its vaccine was 92% effective. Today Moderna issued a press release on the efficacy of its candidate vaccine against Covid-19 and declared that it was more than 94.5% effective. Again, this is just a press release, without a published scientific study, so the information may be questionable.
94.5% efficacy in 95 patients with Covid
Moderna reported provisional results of Phase 3 clinical trials, so its vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, is in approximately the same phase as its direct competitor, Pfizer’s BNT162b2. Both vaccines are based on the same technology, a messenger RNA vaccine, and require two injections.
The mRNA-1273 vaccine has been tested in a total of more than 30,000 people and its efficacy has been tested in 95 patients with Covid-19. Among them were 15 adults over 65 years of age and 20 people from different ethnic backgrounds. Ninety of them received a placebo and five received the vaccine.
Compared to the placebo group, the mRNA-1273 vaccine is more than 94.5% effective in preventing the disease two weeks after the second injection. It is currently the most effective vaccine. Participants reported no serious side effects, but still many inconveniences: Fatigue (9.7%), myalgia (8.9%), arthralgia (5.2%), headaches (4.5%), and pain (4.1%) are the most common.
Storage in a regular refrigerator is possible
In a separate press release, Moderna provided information on the storage and stability of its vaccine. Pfizer’s vaccine, which is also based on messenger RNAs, must be stored at -80°C, but the mRNA-1273 vaccine can be stored at 2-8°C for 30 days. It remains stable at room temperature for about 12 hours. After six months it should be stored at -15 to -20°C. This is an undeniable advantage over the Pfizer vaccine since it can be easily stored in a refrigerator before injection.
Modern will submit its vaccine candidate to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency approval within a few weeks. The US government has already signed a $1.525 billion vaccine purchase agreement. The pharmaceutical company plans to produce 20 million doses of vaccine for the United States by the end of 2020 and up to 1 billion doses of vaccine worldwide by 2021.