US biotech Moderna said its Covid-19 vaccine had shown 94.5 per cent efficacy in clinical trials, in the second positive set of results for a potential coronavirus shot in the past eight days.
Last week, US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech also said their vaccine, which uses the same messenger RNA technology, was found to be more than 90 per cent effective.
The Moderna finding, hot on the heels of that breakthrough, will further boost optimism that the world can turn the corner in the management of the pandemic.
Ireland is in line for supplies of the Moderna vaccine. The European Union agreed the outline of a deal with Moderna in August for the supply of 80 million doses of the vaccine next year should it secure final regulatory approval, with options on a further 80 million doses.
If confirmed, that would likely give Ireland access to between 800,000 and 1.6 million doses of the Moderna vaccine. It has already secured up to three million doses of rival Pfizer / BioNTech Covid vaccine which is also seeking regulatory approval, as part of an EU-wide deal.
Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive, said the moment was “pivotal”.
“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,” he said.
Moderna added that it expected the vaccine could be shipped and stored for up to six months at minus 20C, and then remain stable once thawed for 30 days if refrigerated at between 2C and 8C.
Source : Irish Times 16th November 2020