A new COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective in preventing illness from the virus.
Biotech company Moderna Inc. announced on November 16 that the Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273, their vaccine candidate, passed the "statistical criteria pre-specified in the study protocol for efficacy," making it the second company in the United States to report promising results for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The previous week, Pfizer and BioNTech said that their vaccine is 90% effective against the disease.
While both vaccines are promising, Moderna's vaccine seems to have a significant advantage over Pfizer's. For one, there are differences in their temperature storage requirements. Pfizer's vaccine has to be kept at -75°C (-130°F), which is only possible through special (not to mention expensive) freezers. While Moderna can be stored at 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F), "the temperature of a standard home or medical refrigerator."
Next would be their shelf life. Pfizer can last only five days in the refrigerator, while Moderna's mRNA-1273 can be kept for 30 days in the refrigerator.
“This is a pivotal moment in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Since early January, we have chased this virus with the intent to protect as many people around the world as possible. All along, we have known that each day matters. This positive interim analysis from our Phase 3 study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease,” said
Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of
With this positive news, Moderna hopes that by the end of 2020, approximately 20 million doses of the vaccine will be shipped in the US. They also aim to manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021.
"We look forward to the next milestones of submitting for an EUA in the
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