For the second time in as many weeks, there is promising news from the race for a COVID-19 vaccine as infections surge across the United States and Europe.
US biotech firm Moderna Inc on Monday said preliminary data from an ongoing phase three study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine showed it to be 94.5 percent effective.
“This is a pivotal moment in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate,” said Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel in a statement. “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.”
The news follows on from last week’s announcement from US drug giant Pfizer that phase three trial results for the COVID-19 vaccine it’s developing with Germany’s BioNTech showed it to be more than 90 percent effective.
The results of both trials place Moderna and Pfizer on track to seek authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks for emergency use of their vaccines.
Modern’s study, known as the COVE study, enrolled more than 30,000 participants in the US and is being conducted in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and other US government health agencies.
Moderna’s first interim analysis included 95 participants who had confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 90 cases of the disease were observed in the placebo group versus 5 cases observed in the group that received its 2-dose vaccine, resulting in an estimatedd vaccine efficacy of 94.5 percent said Moderna.
The 95 participants included 15 adults aged 65 or over, and 20 participants from diverse communities including 12 people who identify as Hispanic, 4 African Americans, 3 Asian Americans and 1 person who is multiracial.
SOURCE : AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES