Stocks are up this morning on news Moderna Inc’s Experimental Vaccine was 94.5% Effective.
Together with Pfizer Inc’s vaccine, which is also more than 90% effective, and pending more safety data and regulatory review, the United States could have two vaccines authorized for emergency use in December with as many as 60 million doses of vaccine available this year.
“We are going to have a vaccine that can stop COVID-19,” Moderna President Stephen Hoge said in a telephone interview.
Moderna’s interim analysis was based on 95 infections among trial participants who received either a placebo or the vaccine. Of those, only five infections occurred in those who received the vaccine, which is administered in two shots 28 days apart.
“Having more than one source of an effective vaccine will increase the global supply and, with luck, help us all to get back to something like normal sometime in 2021,” said Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh.
Moderna vs Pfizer
- Moderna expects it to be stable at normal fridge temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 48°F) for 30 days and it can be stored for up to 6 months at -20C.
- Pfizer’s vaccine must be shipped and stored at -70C. It can be stored for up to five days at standard refrigerator temperatures or for up to 15 days in a thermal shipping box.
- Russia licensed its Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine for domestic use in August before it released data from large-scale trials. It said on Nov. 11 that its vaccine was 92% effective based on 20 infections in its large trial.
- A significant proportion of volunteers experienced severe aches and pains after taking the second dose.
- 10% who had fatigue severe enough to interfere with daily activities.
- Most of these complaints were generally short-lived, Moderna said.
“These effects are what we would expect with a vaccine that is working and inducing a good immune response,” said Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London.
Next year, the companies may have as many as 1 billion doses of the vaccines available, easily sufficient for the US population of about 330 million.
Congratulations to Moderna.