Two different COVID-19 vaccine trials show great success

November 17, 2020

Next year is already sounding more promising – two pharmaceutical giants have announced successful COVID-19 vaccine trials, which may help push more people to get vaccinated amid a surge of new coronavirus cases, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, an American immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The vaccines, one developed by Pfizer Inc./BioNTech SE and another by Moderna Inc., uses messenger RNA technology to keep the coronavirus infection from taking hold; both vaccines are given in a two-shot regimen and report a high degree of efficacy of at least 90% and 95% in their respective patient cohorts.

However, the vaccines have slightly different methods of storage: Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be kept in ultra-cold storage at around minus 75C, but can be stored for five days; Moderna’s vaccine appears to be easier to store as it remains stable at minus 20C for up to six months and can be kept in a standard fridge for up to a month.

The duration of their protection isn’t yet known as well – both trials are still taking place and the final data could change; Fauci added that participants and others who receive experimental vaccines will be followed for as long as two years as part of safety monitoring and surveillance.

Despite the hurdles that may present, Fauci is elated, “We’ll now have two highly effective vaccines – we’ve got to convince people to take the vaccine, because if you have a highly effective vaccine and only 50% of the people take it, you’re not going to have the impact that you’d need to essentially bring a pandemic down to such a low level that it’s no longer threatening society.”

Pfizer declined to offer specifics about the plan to distribute its frozen vaccine; the US government, which has worked to secure enough supplies for most Americans by the year-end, may however begin offering Pfizer’s vaccine to priority groups by the end of December.

Moderna, meanwhile, expects to have 20 million doses of its vaccine available in the US in some weeks and up to one billion doses for use around the world by next year.

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Category: Features, Pharmaceuticals

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