New covid vaccine by US firm Moderna shown to be 95% effective in tests
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Interim data from the US firm Moderna suggests its vaccine is highly effective in preventing people getting ill and also works across all age groups, including the elderly.
The firm’s final-stage clinical trial is ongoing and includes more than 30,000 people in the US.
Moderna said its available safety data does not indicate any significant safety concerns and the vaccine was generally safe and well tolerated, with the majority of adverse events were mild or moderate in severity.
Severe events after the first dose included injection site pain and after the second dose included fatigue, myalgia (muscle pain), arthralgia (joint pain), headache, pain, and redness at the injection site.
But these effects of the injection were generally short-lived, Moderna said.
The 94.5% efficacy from this analysis could drop as further results from the clinical trial are announced.
Stephane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, said: “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.”
The announcement comes one week after Pfizer/BioNTech released interim study data suggesting their vaccine is more than 90% effective.
Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, said: “This news from Moderna is tremendously exciting and considerably boosts optimism that we will have a choice of good vaccines in the next few months.
“First we heard 90% efficacy from Pfizer and BioNTech, then the Russians said 92% and now Moderna says 94.5%.
“This latest press release is based on a study of 30,000 US adults, including many high-risk or elderly persons.
“This gives us confidence that the results are relevant in the people who are most at risk of Covid-19 and in most need of the vaccines.
“Moderna have also announced that the vaccine can be kept in a conventional freezer (-20C) for up to six months, and that once thawed the vaccine can be kept for up to 30 days at standard refrigerator (2 to 8C). This makes the vaccine much easier to deliver.”
Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “This announcement from Moderna is a further encouragement that vaccines will be found to not only have an acceptable efficacy, but an efficacy that is much greater than we had anticipated.”
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