Moderna announced on Monday morning that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate reported a nearly 95 percent efficacy rate, escalating hopes that an end is in sight for the worst pandemic in over a century.
The pharmaceutical company initially reported the findings to an independent review board on Sunday night. In a 30,000-person clinical trial, half the subjects were given a placebo and half were given the vaccine. Of those who were given the placebo, 90 reported contracting COVID-19, while only five given the vaccine contracted the virus. Further, 11 recipients of the placebo developed severe symptoms, while there were zero severe cases amongst those vaccinated.
The vaccine did not seem to produce any serious side-effects.
“These are obviously very exciting results,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN. “It’s just as good as it gets—94.5% is truly outstanding.”
The results were reviewed by an independent board established by the National Health Institute.
This is the second seemingly successful vaccine announced this month. Last week, Pfizer revealed that it had achieved about a 90 percent success rate with its vaccine candidate, which is built on similar technology as the Moderna vaccine. Both candidates use messenger RNA to deliver a formula that allows DNA to produce antibodies to the COVID virus’s infamous “spikes.”
The vaccines could begin rolling out by late December, though they would at first be in limited supply. The United States is currently experiencing its largest wave of COVID-19 yet and passed 11 million confirmed cases earlier in November. There were over 120,000 new cases in the United States on Sunday. Nearly 250,000 people in the United States have died of the virus, though that may be an undercount.
Worldwide, over 54 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1.38 million have been confirmed to have died of the virus.