Biotech Company Moderna in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reported that its RNA-based vaccine is more than 94% effective at preventing COVID-19, on the basis of an analysis of 95 cases in its ongoing phase III efficacy trial.
Scientists say that the press-released results share a few more details than last week’s positive announcements from Pfizer and BioNTech, which are together working on a rival RNA vaccine, and from the Russian developers behind the controversial ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine. Moderna released figures suggesting that its vaccine is likely to prevent severe COVID-19 infections, something that was not clear from the other developers’ announcements.
Moderna was one of the first developers to publicize that it was working on a COVID-19 vaccine and to move testing to clinical trials in humans. Its vaccine comprises RNA instructions for cells to produce a modified form of the coronavirus spike protein, the immune system’s key target against coronaviruses. The company began a phase III trial on 27 July, and has enrolled roughly 30,000 people.
Moderna also presented some evidence that its vaccine protects against severe cases of COVID-19 — something not mentioned in the Pfizer/BioNTech and Sputnik press releases. The Moderna interim analysis found a total of 11 severe cases in the trial’s placebo arm, and none in the vaccine arm, according to the press release.
Well, it is clear now that Moderna vaccine is more effective than Pfizer or the Russian vaccine.