Later on Monday, Moderna will request permission from US and European pharma watchdogs to market its corona vaccine. It is the first vaccine to receive such approval in the European Union. The latest results show that the vaccine is “more than 94 percent” effective.
Moderna has now studied 196 patients and achieved an effectiveness of 94.1 percent. That means that for every 100 people who receive the vaccine, 94 people are protected against the coronavirus. The company previously reported 94.5 percent.
30 people would have developed severe symptoms of Covid-19 during the tests, but they were all in the placebo group, according to Moderna.
The American company is the second vaccine maker to go to the US FDA for market approval. Pfizer, which claims 95 percent effectiveness, did so last week. On December 10, the institution will consider the Pfizer case. It is not yet clear when Moderna will be looked at, but it will also be for “the coming weeks”.
That means that there could potentially be two corona vaccines on the US market in December. Europe has yet to decide on both vaccines, but has already announced that it will look at the files in the coming month. Belgium is waiting for Europe. The UK could give an approval on December 7, according to information from the British newspaper Financial Times.
The big difference between the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine is the storage temperature. The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at -80 degrees at all times, including during transport, which is a logistical nightmare. In Belgium, this may not be too bad, because the vaccine is partly produced in Puurs, but this leads to problems especially in third world countries. And given that not every hospital or doctor has a fridge at -80 degrees in Belgium, storage afterwards is not ideal either.
The Moderna vaccine should be stored at -20 degrees during transport, but can be stored normally at 2 to 8 degrees afterwards. So in the regular refrigerator.
For the time being, there is also a third contender, the British-Swedish AstraZeneca, but it has to redo part of its research because the test group was initially too small.