Biotech company Moderna announced its COVID-19 vaccine candidate has shown a 94.5% efficacy rate in its Phase 3 study.
The study, known as the COVE study, enrolled more than 30,000 participants in the U.S. and is being conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Out of the 30,000 volunteers, “half got two doses of the vaccine 28 days apart; half got two shots of a placebo on the same schedule. There were 95 instances of COVID-19 illness among the study participants; only five of those cases were in the vaccinated group. Ninety were in the group receiving the placebo. Of these, there were 11 cases of severe disease. The results indicate the vaccine was inducing the kind of immune response that protects people if they were exposed to the coronavirus,” reports NPR.
As more cases accrue leading up to the final analysis, Moderna expects the point estimate for vaccine efficacy may change. Moderna plans to submit data from the full Phase 3 COVE study to a peer-reviewed publication.
“This is a pivotal moment in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Since early January, we have chased this virus with the intent to protect as many people around the world as possible. All along, we have known that each day matters. 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,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna in a press release.
This news comes a week after Pfizer announced its vaccine candidate is more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19.
Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccine candidates are mRNA vaccines. As explained by AP “They aren’t made with the coronavirus itself, meaning there’s no chance anyone could catch it from the shots. Instead, the vaccine contains a piece of genetic code that trains the immune system to recognize the spiked protein on the surface of the virus.”