Moderna's experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial, the company said on Monday, becoming the second United States drugmaker to report results that far exceed expectations.
The data from Moderna's trial involving 30,000 volunteers also showed the vaccine prevented cases of severe COVID-19, a question that still remains with the Pfizer vaccine. "It's looking like a really contender".
"Today's update from Pfizer provides further encouraging news and more detail on the protection against disease that their vaccine is showing from this definitive phase III trial".
The Moderna vaccine is likely to be authorized within seven to 10 days of Pfizer receiving its EUA, U.S. officials said, with states ready to begin distribution within 24 hours. Moderna expects it to be stable at normal fridge temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 48°F) for 30 days and it can be stored for up to 6 months at -20C.More news: IO Interactive Reveals New 007 Game With Teaser Trailer
The 95 cases of COVID-19 included several key groups who are at increased risk for severe disease, including 15 cases in adults aged 65 and older and 20 in participants from racially diverse groups.
European stocks and USA stock futures rose slightly after Russia's announcement in a week of positive news after the statement from Pfizer sent them bolt higher on Monday. Europe's STOXX 600 and the US S&P 500 futures both rose about 0.3 per cent to hit highs for the day.
The news comes just two days after Pfizer and BioNTech announced their vaccine was more than 90% effective. There were also no major side effects, making it deployable worldwide.
"The Commission has secured to date at least 1.2 billion doses and fulfils its commitment to ensuring equitable access to safe, effective and affordable vaccines not only for EU citizens but also for the world's poorest and most vulnerable people", said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission. Older adults tended to report fewer and milder adverse events. It listed fatigue at a frequency of 9.7 per cent, muscle pain at 8.9 per cent, joint pain at 5.2 per cent, headache at 4.5 per cent, pain at 4.1 per cent and redness around the injection site at 2 per cent.More news: AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shows promise in elderly, trial results by Christmas
The news was especially welcome with the virus again running rampant around the world, setting records for new infections and hospitalizations nearly daily.
The approach of winter in the northern hemisphere in tandem with the holiday season is expected to worsen case numbers as people spend more time indoors and get together for family gatherings.
Pfizer and BioNTech said they plan to submit the data to other regulatory agencies around the world.
The companies have a $1.95 billion contract with the US government to deliver 100 million vaccine doses beginning this year. Russian Federation licensed its Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine for domestic use in August before it released data from large-scale trials. Johnson & Johnson says it is on track to deliver data this year.More news: BioNTech/Pfizer to seek emergency approval for coronavirus vaccine within days