Vaccine Monday: Moderna’s Candidate Proves Effective

Vaccine Trial Shows Shot is 94.5% Effective

Yesterday, Moderna (MRNA) shared that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine proved 94.5% effective in its most recent trial. In the study, which involved 30,000 participants, 95 people developed symptoms of COVID-19. Researchers reported that 90 of those participants had received the placebo, not the real vaccine, showing that the shot is effective at protecting against the virus.

More safety-related data from the study will be released later this month, though the vaccine did show promising signs of being safe as well as effective. If this data proves the shot is safe, Moderna will ask federal health authorities to clear the vaccine by early next month. If this process goes smoothly, Moderna’s vaccine could be ready for distribution before the end of the year.

COVID-19 Cases Spike

COVID-19 cases are surging in many parts of the world. Last Friday, new infections in the US were above 177,224—a new daily record. Hospitalizations are also hitting record highs, though death rates for people contracting the virus are down thanks to new treatment methods.

Many states have recently implemented new mask mandates and restrictions on gatherings to curb the spread of the virus. The state of Wisconsin and the city of Chicago put stay-at-home advisories in place. The state of Vermont banned gatherings of people from different households. Though this next wave of the virus is straining the healthcare system and the economy, vaccine trial results are providing some much-needed good news.

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

In addition to Moderna, other companies are also hard at work developing vaccines. Last week Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) shared that their COVID-19 vaccine proved 90% effective at protecting trial participants from the virus. The two companies plan to ask the FDA to authorize the shot this month, which could mean it will also be ready for distribution by the end of the year. AstraZeneca (AZN), Johnson& Johnson (JNJ), and Novavax (NVAX) are also developing vaccines, and could share news from their trials soon.

The pandemic is far from over and this wave of cases could prove even more difficult than the first wave. However, positive news from Moderna and other companies are providing hope for the future.

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