What to know about the Moderna Vaccine

  • The trial was run on 30,000 volunteers.

  • In the placebo group, 90 got infections, and 11 developed severe symptoms. In the vaccine group, 5 got infected and none developed severe symptoms.

  • Moderna will have 20 Million doses by the end of 2020, and hopefully 500 million-1 billion doses by the end of next year.

Great news today! On the tail of Pfizer+BioNTech’s vaccine news from last week, Moderna announced that they also completed an initial trial of their vaccine. It ran on a group of 30,000 people, and found great results - of the 15,000 people in the test group, only 5 people caught covid, and none developed severe symptoms. This is compared to 90 people who caught covid from the placebo (no vaccine delivered) group, and of whom 5 people developed severe reactions. One thing to note about the Moderna vaccine is its stability - it can be kept in storage for 6 months at -20 degrees Celsius, and also up to 30 days at a range of 2-8 degrees Celsius, making it much more viable than the Pfizer vaccine (which needs to be kept at a temperature between -70 to -80 C).

The two companies’ drugs are both based on mRNA techniques. The procedure itself is two shots, and apparently has very few reported side-effects. And, the testing population itself was racially diverse, with a skew towards more at-risk populations (42% of participants were older people, or people with preexisting conditions).

For a little bit of context - the effect size here seems immense. As a point of reference for the 95% effectiveness number - the measles vaccine is 93% effective.

Also coming up: AstraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson trials are still running, among others.

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