The race to bring the COVID-19 vaccine first to the market is closely watched by people around the globe. But more than being first, it's now about being more effective as there is skepticism around getting vaccinated first owing to side effects. Moderna's latest claim might put some of those doubts to rest as it is now moving for emergency authorization of its highly-effective COVID-19 vaccine for use in the US and Europe.
According to US-based Pharma giant Moderna, full results from a late-stage study have shown the vaccine to be 94.1 percent effective with no serious safety concerns. Moreover, the drugmaker has reported a 100 percent success rate in preventing severe COVID cases.
"A continuous review of safety data is ongoing and no new serious safety concerns have been identified by the company," Moderna said in a statement.
This is the second vaccine likely to receive US nod for emergency use this year after Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine, which is 95 percent effective. Earlier this month, the first interim analysis of the Phase 3 COVE study put the vaccine's efficacy at 94.5 percent.
Moderna also noted that the efficacy of the vaccine was consistent across age, race, ethnicity and gender demographics. Of the 196 cases, there were 33 adults over 65 years, 42 from racially diverse groups. The drugmaker is also planning to start a new trial to test the vaccine in adolescents before the end of the year.
Vaccine rollout plan
Once the emergency use authorization has been granted, Moderna is ready to roll out the vaccine in the US through the government's Operation Warp Speed program and McKesson Corp, a drug distributor contracted by the U.S. government. There's also an advantage to Moderna's vaccine as it doesn't require to be frozen in ultra-cold temperature as required by Pfizer's vaccine.
Moderna said it is on track to deliver vaccines in a timely manner.
"By the end of 2020, the company expects to have approximately 20 million doses of mRNA-1273 available in the U.S. The Company remains on track to manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021," Moderna stated.