The final results of the trials of Moderna’s vaccine against COVID-19 have confirmed 94.1% efficacy, as reported by the company in a release. The American biotech company has already sent this data to request emergency authorization for use in the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom. The European Commission (EC) approved last week the signing of a contract that will allow the acquisition of “up to 160 million doses” of this experimental vaccine, once it is proven effective and safe.
Moderna announces that its vaccine is 94.5% effective
According to the pharmacist’s statement, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to decide on the license at a meeting scheduled for December 17.
On November 16, Moderna announced 94.5% efficiency, which has now adjusted to 94.1%, and explained that it could begin to be distributed at the beginning of the year. It was the results of its phase III, tested in 95 patients infected with COVID-19. At the beginning of the trial, half of the 30,000 volunteers received the vaccine and the other half a placebo, that is, an injection of salt water.
Of the 196 COVID-19 positives recorded among the volunteers who participated in the trial, 185 were part of the group that received a placebo and only eleven had received the vaccine. None of those eleven people have developed a serious illness, but have only had mild symptoms.
Moderna’s vaccine, like those from Pfizer and BioNTech, uses messenger RNA technology, a novel technique that allows the use of a cell’s protein-generating mechanism to generate the desired immune response against viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 . Since the beginning of the pandemic, scientists have pointed to this protein as the key to defend against the coronavirus, as it plays an essential role in invading human cells and also activating the immune response.
Moderna’s vaccine, compared to others also based on RNA, does not need temperatures below 70 degrees below zero, as is the case with Pfizer, so its transport and storage would be cheaper and accessible to rural areas or economies in developing. In their case, they expect it to stay for 30 days in temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees and longer in the long term, up to 6 months, at -20 degrees.
The company informs in its statement that it will send the data from its phase III to a scientific publication to be reviewed independently, something that has not yet been met by any of the large pharmaceutical companies that are announcing preliminary results these days.