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COVID vaccine candidate from Moderna was nearly 95% effective during its phase 3 human trials

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. (Jim Craven/KHN/TNS)
November 16, 2020

Moderna Inc., a biotechnology company based in Cambridge, announced Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was nearly 95% effective during phase three of human trials.

More than 30,000 participants enrolled in the study to show the effectiveness of Moderna’s potential vaccine, mRNA-1273. Only 95 people became infected with the virus. Of the 95, only five were infected after immunization, the company said on Monday. The other 90 infections came from participants receiving the placebo.

Moderna estimated the candidate vaccine’s effectiveness at 94.5%. As trials continue, Moderna said the vaccine efficacy may change.

“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,” Chief Executive Officer of Moderna Stéphane Bancel said in a statement. “This milestone is only possible because of the hard work and sacrifices of so many. I want to thank the thousands of participants in our Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 studies, and the staff at our clinical trial sites who have been on the front lines of the fight against the virus.”

Moderna now plans to submit for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with Food and Drug Administration soon. The biotech company expects the EUA to be based on the final analysis of 151 cases.

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The trials also revealed no severe safety concerns, Moderna said. The majority of side effects to the vaccine were mild or moderate in severity and included pain at the site of the injection and after the second dose, fatigue, headache, muscle pain and joint pain.

Moderna is already working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Operation Warp Speed and McKesson, a COVID-19 vaccine distributor contracted by the U.S. government, as well as global stakeholders, to prepare for distribution of mRNA-1273. About 20 million doses are expected to be ready by the end of 2020.

Last week, Pfizer announced was more than 90% effective in preventing the spread of the virus among people during its phase 3 trials.

Based on current projections Pfizer and BioNTech expect to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.

Like Moderna’s candidate vaccine, Pfizer’s also requires two doses.

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(c) 2020 MassLive.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.