Second COVID-19 vaccine confirmed: Moderna hail ‘94.5% success rate’

Dare we suggest vaccines are like buses? We’ve waited ages for a successful one, and it now seems that two have arrived within a week of each other. Moderna on Monday announced its experimental vaccine against Covid-19 was shown to be 94.5% effective according to early results from a clinical trial with more than 30 000 participants.

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The second of the vaccine frontrunners – following the breakthrough made by Pfizer earlier in November – is based on a new platform called messenger RNA, which is faster to produce than traditional vaccines and effectively turn human cells into vaccine factories. Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO, told AFP that their results now have ‘clinical validation’.

“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.”

Stephane Bancel

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The company plans to submit applications for emergency approval in the US and around the world within weeks. Global infections from Covid-19 have soared past 54 million with more than 1.3 million deaths since the virus emerged in China late last year. South Africa, meanwhile, is currently dealing with two ‘cluster outbreaks’ in the Eastern and Western Capes

Photo: TheSouthAfrican

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The Moderna vaccine, which was co-developed by the US National Institutes of Health, is given in two doses 28 days apart, and the preliminary results are based on 95 volunteers of the 30,000 who fell ill with COVID-19.

Europe’s major stock markets spiked Monday after Moderna announcement, according to early trial results. The news has sparked fresh hope of a return to normality in the stock markets, dealers said.

European equities accelerated gains on the news, which comes just one week after Pfizer and BioNTech sparked a stock market boom after announcing that their COVID-19 vaccine candidate had proved 90% effective.

Shortly after midday on Monday, London stocks were up 1.7 percent, extending early gains. In early afternoon deals in the eurozone, Frankfurt added 1.2% and Paris soared 2.4%, while Madrid and Milan jumped 3.9% and 2.3% respectively.

[Additional reporting from AFP]