Moderna Covid pictures ‘94% efficient’ in late-stage trials

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16

US biotechnology firm Moderna on Monday announced nearly 95 per cent efficacy for its experimental Covid-19 vaccine, making the company third player globally to claim comprehensive success in phase-3 trials, the first two being Pfizer and Russian Direct Investment Fund.

Moderna said as per the phase-3 study, the trial had met the statistical criteria with an efficacy of 94.5 per cent. The study enrolled over 30,000 participants in the US.

Moderna said this first interim analysis of the vaccine was based on 95 cases, of which 90 cases of Covid were observed in the placebo group versus five in the vaccine group, resulting in vaccine efficacy of 94.5 per cent.

The study did not report any significant safety concerns, Moderna said, adding that a majority of adverse events were mild or moderate. The study is continuing and Moderna acknowledged the protection rate might change as more Covid infections are detected and added to the calculations. Also, it is too soon to know how long the protection lasts.

Moderna expects to have about 20 million doses earmarked for the US by the year end. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech would have about 50 million doses globally. Both require people to get two shots, several weeks apart. “This is a pivotal moment in the development of our vaccine. This positive interim analysis from phase-3 study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent the disease,” said Stephane Bancel, CEO, Moderna.

He said Moderna looked forward to the next milestones of submitting for an emergency use authorisation in the US and regulatory filings in other countries. Earlier, the RDIF had claimed 92 per cent efficiency for its vaccine and Pfizer 90 per cent.

Has genetic code that trains immune system

  • Moderna’s candidate is based on new tech mRNA, a single-stranded molecule
  • The vaccine isn’t made with virus itself, meaning there’s no chance anyone could catch it from the shots
  • It contains genetic code that trains immune system to recognise the spiked protein on the surface of virus
  • The vaccine can remain stable at a temperature of 2-8 degrees Celsius for 30 days

Past 3rd wave peak, says Delhi minister

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain on Monday ruled out reimposition of lockdown since the third wave of Covid-19 had peaked out in the city. He said the virus could not be contained through lockdown and people should protect themselves by wearing masks.

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