Moderna Covid Vaccine is nearly 95 percent protective
Good news comes in threes. For the third time in a week, a coronavirus vaccine developer has reported preliminary results suggesting that its vaccine is highly effective.
On Monday, the Massachusetts-based company Moderna reported promising preliminary results from its coronavirus vaccine trial. Coming just a week after similar news from Pfizer and BioNTech. It offered more hope that there’s going to be a way out of the pandemic.
Moderna reported that its vaccine had a longer shelf life under refrigeration and at room temperature than previously reported, which should make it easier to store and use.
“Obviously, the data speak for themselves,” says Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which helped support the study. “This is a very positive result.” He suspects that by late next month doses of one or both vaccines could start to be offered to people at highest risk from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
"Every pharmacy, doctor's office, hospital" has the capability to store a vaccine in a regular refrigerator, Bancel said in an interview on Bloomberg Television on Monday. The vaccine's stability at such temperatures will have "a huge impact" in the ability to distribute it widely.
When will I get it?
.The company hopes to have up to one billion doses available for use around the world next year and is planning to seek approval in other countries too.
Are there any side effects?
No significant safety concerns have been reported, but nothing, including paracetamol, is 100% safe.
Short lived fatigue, headache and pain were reported after the injection in some patients.
"These effects are what we would expect with a vaccine that is working and inducing a good immune response," said Prof Peter Openshaw, from Imperial College London.
When will Covid be over?
In the space of a week, the positive results from Pfizer, Moderna and Russia have transformed our chances of ending the pandemic.
Before the first results, the talk was of a vaccine that offered maybe 50% protection. Those expectations have been blown out of the water - not only are vaccines possible, but they also appear to be potent.
The data so far also raise hopes that the other vaccines in development will be successful too, but now as one challenge ends, another begins.
The logistical effort of vaccinating, potentially billions of people, around the world is gargantuan.
Some experts have claimed normality by spring, others by next winter, others still think there is a long journey ahead.
The answer will depend on how quickly countries can get this "hope in a vial" into the arms of people.
2020 November 17