Barely a week after Pfizer announced extremely encouraging data about their COVID-19 vaccine, American biotechnology company Moderna has quickly followed suit with news that looks just as, if not more, promising.
According to early data from clinical trials, Moderna’s vaccine candidate could be as much as 94.5 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 infection; a number slightly higher than Pfizer’s, which has nonetheless been similarly shown to be a ground-breaking 90 per cent effective in clinical trials.
This morning, Moderna said its COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 94.5 per cent effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s still ongoing study.
— Toronto Star (@TorontoStar) November 16, 2020
Moderna’s vaccine candidate has been tested in a sample group of 30,000 volunteers, some of whom were administered a placebo. This past Sunday, it was observed that of the 95 infections that occurred among the volunteer group, all but five of them occurred in volunteers who received a placebo vaccine.
Limited supplies of both Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines – both of which require two doses multiple weeks apart – are expected to be available before the end of 2020 for emergency usage.
The Canadian government has already ordered up to 56 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, with a firm commitment on 20 million doses; in other words, enough to vaccinate 10 million Canadians with a required double dosage.
It’s incredibly hopeful news in the midst of a rough year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as two promising vaccines indicate a light at the end of the tunnel. However, public health stresses that it is still important for people not to let their guard down regarding the usual health & safety protocols.
Mask-wearing, frequent hand-washing, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings should still be firmly observed in the meantime, to help keep overall cases and the death toll low in the intervening months before a COVID-19 vaccine is more widely distributed.
Read more about Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine here.