Hopes are rising for the Covid jab being developed by Oxford University, after Moderna became the second company to reveal impressive results from its vaccine trials.
Interim results from phase 3 clinical trials of the Covid vaccine from US company Moderna has revealed it to be almost 95% effective at preventing the disease. The news followed an announcement last week from Germany-based Pfizer and BioNTech that their vaccine was more than 90% effective.
While the UK has secured 40m doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, and 5m of Moderna’s, it has by far the most riding on the jab being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca – of which it has reserved 100m doses.
Although the Oxford vaccine uses a different technology from the Moderna jab, the two vaccines both rely on stimulating cells to produce a specific protein, which in turn triggers an immune response – meaning Moderna’s results bode well for Oxford.
A source at the Department of Health and Social Care said the results from the Oxford vaccine trials were “imminent” and that it could be one of the first to be rolled out.
Both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are based on introducing genetic material, known as mRNA, into the body. This carries instructions for making the coronavirus’s spike protein. The vaccine causes protein-making machinery within the human cells to churn out this spike protein, triggering the body’s immune response.
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