On Monday, the American Association for the Advancement of Science reported that not a single participant in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial has developed serious illness — a promising sign for the safety of a vaccine that has also shown to have high rates of efficacy.
"Only 11 people who received two doses of the vaccine developed COVID-19 symptoms after being infected with the pandemic coronavirus, versus 185 symptomatic cases in a placebo group. That is an efficacy of 94.1%, the company says, far above what many vaccine scientists were expecting just a few weeks ago," reported Jon Cohen. "More impressive still, Moderna’s candidate had 100% efficacy against severe disease. There were zero such COVID-19 cases among the vaccinees, but 30 in the placebo group."
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia vaccine researcher Paul Offit said of the results, "I would still like to see all of the actual data, but what we’ve seen so far is absolutely remarkable."
Moderna is one of multiple drug companies racing to be the first to get a COVID vaccine to market, including Pfizer and AstraZeneca, both of whom have also reported encouraging results in clinical trials.
The company is now requesting emergency use authorization for its vaccine — the second to request it after Pfizer.