Moderna said preliminary phase three trial data show its coronavirus vaccine is more than 94% effective in preventing Covid-19 — a result CEO Stephane Bancel called a “game-changer.”
The analysis evaluated 95 confirmed Covid-19 infections among the trial’s 30,000 participants. Moderna, which developed its vaccine in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said 90 cases of Covid-19 were observed in the placebo group versus 5 cases observed in the group that received its two-dose vaccine. That resulted in an estimated vaccine efficacy of 94.5%, it said.
The announcement follows on the heels of similar news last week from Pfizer’s late-stage Covid-19 vaccine trial as pharmaceutical companies across the world race against the clock to find ways to prevent the virus, which has spread to more than 54.4 million people, killing more than 1.3 million.
“This is a pivotal moment in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement. “Since early January, we have chased this virus with the intent to protect as many people around the world as possible. All along, we have known that each day matters. This positive interim analysis from our Phase 3 study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease.”
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company also said there were no “significant” safety concerns, adding the vaccine was generally safe and well-tolerated with the majority of adverse events in participants being labeled as mild or moderate. Side effects included pain at the injection site and, after the second dose, fatigue, muscle pain and headaches.
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