According to data released by US-based Moderna, a Covid vaccine released by the biotechnology company is 94.5 per cent effective at preventing coronavirus.
With this, Moderna Inc. has become the second US company to release data from a large study of its experimental vaccine.
“It was one of the greatest moments in my life and my career. It is absolutely amazing to be able to develop this vaccine and see the ability to prevent symptomatic disease with such high efficacy,” Dr. Tal Zacks, Moderna’s chief medical officer was quoted as saying by CNN.
According to reports, vaccinations could begin in the second half of December and are expected to begin with high-risk groups. They are expected to be available for the rest of the population next spring.
Another pharma company, Pfizer had announced last week that early data show its vaccine is more than 90% effective against the disease.
In Moderna’s trial, 15,000 study participants were given a placebo, which is a shot of saline that has no effect. Over several months, 90 of them developed Covid-19, with 11 developing severe forms of the disease, a CNN report said.
Another 15,000 participants were given the vaccine, and only five of them developed Covid-19. None of the five became severely ill, it said.
As per Moderna Inc. its vaccine did not have any serious side effects. A small percentage of those who received it experienced symptoms such as body aches and headaches.
Meanwhile, the company plans to apply to the US Food and Drug Administration for authorization of its vaccine soon after it accumulates more safety data later this month.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that he expects the first Covid-19 vaccinations to begin in late December.
CNN reported that there won’t be enough vaccine for everyone initially and that the health care workers, elderly, and people with underlying medical conditions, will get the vaccine first.