Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The search for a COVID-19 vaccine might be coming to an end with news that Moderna’s vaccine shows to be 95 percent effective in protecting one against COVID-19.
According to data released by the biotechnology firm today, phase three clinical trials that were carried out show that the drug is effective at preventing illness and stops cases from becoming severe.
The vaccine was tested in 30,000 people, where half received two doses of the vaccine 14 days part, while others got a placebo.
To test how effective the vaccine was, physicians monitored participants who had received the placebo to see whether they would get infected with COVID-19.
A total of 95 participants were infected with COVID-19, and 90 of which were from the group that received the placebo. Only five participants who got the vaccine undergoing trial developed COVID-19.
Findings of the trial have not yet been published in any science journal or even peer reviewed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, a US scientist and also the director of the National Institute Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whose company co-developed the vaccine with Moderna says findings from the study are quiet impressive.
For the virus to be effective, two doses taken 14 days apart are administered. This is the third vaccine to be found to have any efficacy a few days apart.
Last week, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that early data showed that their vaccine was more than 90 percent effective against the disease. Another vaccine manufactured by Russian vaccine Sputnik V was found to be 92 effective.
While the news of a third effective vaccine is welcome news, the director general of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Tedros Adhanom warns that a vaccine on its own will not end the pandemic. He says countries need to continue carrying out surveillance and using various health protective measures like wearing masks to end the spread of the disease.
“While we encourage news about COVID-19 vaccine, right now we are concerned about surging cases in some countries. But it’s important to emphasise that a vaccine will complement the other tools we have, not replace them. A vaccine on its own will not end the pandemic,” he said.