Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine 95% Effective in Clinical Trial

Trump Warp Speed (Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty)
Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty

Moderna, Inc., reported Monday that its experimental coronavirus vaccine had proven 94.5% effective in clinical trials, the latest good news in the battle against the pandemic and an affirmation of President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.

The news came exactly one week after Pfizer and German pharmaceutical company BioNTech said that their coronavirus vaccine had proven 90% effective, which was heralded as an unexpected bit of good news that sent stock markets soaring.

National Public Radio reported:

The results for both vaccines come from interim analyses of large clinical studies. In the Moderna study there were 30,000 volunteers. Half got two doses of the vaccine 28 days apart, half got two shots of a placebo on the same schedule.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use the same technology to make their vaccines. It’s based on a molecule known as mRNA, or messenger RNA. That molecule contains genetic instructions for making proteins inside cells.

The federal Operation Warp Speed project to hasten development of COVID-19 vaccines awarded Moderna a $1.5 billion contract in August to ramp up manufacturing and deliver 100 million vaccine doses, enough for 50 million people. The government has an option to buy up to 400 million more doses.

Moderna said Monday that it expects to be able to ship about 20 million vaccine doses in the U.S. by the end of 2020. Next year, the company said it expects to be able to make 500 million to 1 billion doses worldwide.

The Wall Street Journal noted that 95 participants in the study contracted coronavirus. Of those, only five had also received the vaccine; the other 90 had received the placebo. The Journal added: The vaccine also showed signs of being safe, though researchers and regulators must wait for more-complete safety data from the study, expected later in November.”

President Trump and Dr. Moncef Slaoui, who leads Operation Warp Speed, hinted last week in a press briefing in the Rose Garden that Moderna would announce good news. “I would expect that shortly — probably next week — we may hear what I hope to be another very good information regarding an efficacious vaccine,” Dr. Slaoui said, referring to Moderna’s clinical trial.

Monday’s news came as several states prepared to impose strict lockdowns to control an uptick in coronavirus cases as Americans moved more activities indoors for the winter season.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose more than 500 points on the news before the opening of markets in New York.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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