A new vaccine that protects against the deadly COVID-19 virus is nearly 95% effective as per early data, US-based biotech company Moderna said on Monday.
According to an interim analysis issued by the company, the vaccine candidate had been found to have an efficacy of 94.5 %, based on a study on 95 patients with confirmed COVID infections. Only five of the Covid cases were in people given the vaccine, 90 were in those given the dummy treatment.
"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," said Moderna's chief medical officer Dr Tal Zacks, CNN reported.
The biotech company further said that its vaccine did not have any serious side effects and that only a small percentage experienced symptoms like body aches and headaches.
It may be mentioned that the vaccine will not be available outside the US until 2021. Moderna reportedly said it would have 20 million doses ready to ship in the US before the end of 2020 and could be able to manufacture 500 million to one billion doses for the world in 2021.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump boasted about the Moderna vaccine candidate, calling the development of vaccines against COVID-19 "great discoveries". Trump asserted that the "great historians' should remember that it happened on his watch.
"Another Vaccine just announced. This time by Moderna, 95% effective. For those great "historians", please remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my watch!" he tweeted.
On the very same day, President-elect Joe Biden lauded Moderna's announcement but also reminded the people that the rollout was still months away and wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing still remained crucial.
"Today's news of a second vaccine is further reason to feel hopeful. What was true with the first vaccine remains true with the second: we are still months away," Biden wrote on Twitter.
The results come hot on the heels of similar results from Pfizer, and add to growing confidence that vaccines can help end the pandemic. Both companies used a highly innovative and experimental approach to designing their vaccines.
However, this is still early data and key questions remain unanswered.