Moderna announces its COVID-19 vaccine is nearly 95% effective

COVID vaccine differences

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Drug maker, Moderna, released promising news Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine is nearly 95% effective against the coronavirus.

Just last week, Pfizer said its vaccine is also highly effective.

Moderna’s president said he’s pleased with the early results from the clinical trial, but he also said there’s still plenty of work to be done.

President of Moderna, Dr. Stephen Hoge, is calling the vaccine an “important milestone” in the fight against COVID-19, but the battle is just beginning.

“Knowing the vaccine is going to be effective is great news, but we still need to complete the regulatory process, which involves completing the study, generating more data, even some follow up and safety data. And then, of course, we need to get busy manufacturing,” Dr. Hoge said.

On Monday, the drug maker announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5% effective at preventing the virus.

The promising results coming just a week after Pfizer Inc. announced its shot is more than 90% effective.

Both companies are expected to seek emergency-use authorization from the FDA.

“And actually, given the rate at which we’re acquiring cases, we do expect that we’ll have probably 150 or 151 cases at the final analysis. We do expect that to be done within a couple of weeks here, and then we’ll prepare those documents and submit them to the FDA in the coming weeks,” Dr. Hoge explained.

Both Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines work by introducing messenger RNA into the body.

The immune system then learns to recognize the virus, so if a real infection happens, the body will know how to respond.

“And so, you’ve got two independent very large trials with independent companies giving you very similar results,” said Chief Medical Officer of Moderna, Dr. Tal Zaks.

“That being said, I am very happy that our vaccine has been able to demonstrate very strong immunogenicity across all age groups, so we don’t lose potency. As we look at least at the Phase 1 data, you see the same level of an immune response across both younger and older adults,” Dr. Zaks explained.

One major difference in the two vaccines is their stability.

Pfizer’s shot must be stored at ultra-cold temperatures until a few days before it is used, while Moderna said its vaccine is stable at refrigerator temperatures for 30 days.

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