Covid-19: Moderna vaccine 94.5% effective

Moderna announces a high success rate COVID-19 Vaccine Dado | Photo: Ruvić/Reuters

Massachusetts, United States – The Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective against coronavirus, according to data released by the company on Monday, making it the second vaccine released in the US to have such high effectiveness.

US biotech firm Moderna Inc revealed that during their clinical trials, 15,000 study participants were given a placebo, which is a shot of saline that has no effect. Over several months, 90 of them developed Covid-19, with 11 developing severe forms of the disease. Another 15,000 participants were given the vaccine, and only five of them developed the disease with none becoming severely unwell.

The company claims that the vaccine did not have any serious side effects, with only a few participants having body aches and headaches. The company plans to apply for authorization of their vaccine to the US Food and Drug Administration as soon as they accumulate more safety data, which could be as soon as a few weeks.

The announcement comes after from US pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer announced last week that their COVID-19 vaccine in development with Germany’s BioNTech showed to be more than 90 percent effective.

While the two vaccines use the same messenger RNA, or mRNA technique to activate the body’s immune system, Moderna’s vaccine is said to have significant practical advantages over Pfizer’s.

Pfizer’s vaccine has to be kept at minus 75 degrees Celsius, which produces a major logistical issue, most medical facilities worldwide do not have freezers that go that low. Meanwhile, Moderna’s vaccine can be kept at minus 20 degrees Celsius for 6 months. Which is not hard to achieve as existing vaccines, such as the chickenpox vaccine, needs to be kept at that temperature.

Another advantage of Moderna’s vaccine is that once thawed, the vaccine can be kept at refrigerator temperatures of 2 to 8C for 30 days, while Pfizer’s vaccine reportedly only lasts five days in the refrigerator.

With COVID cases surging across the US, this is great news for US citizens and the whole word.