Moderna announced early Monday that, according to preliminary phase-three trial data reviewed by an independent monitoring board, its coronavirus vaccine candidate was more than 94 percent effective. CEO Stéphane Bancel called the results a "game-changer." Among the trial's 30,000 participants, 90 COVID-19 cases were found among those getting placebo shots, and only five cases occurred among those who got the two-dose vaccine. Moderna also said doses of its vaccine, once thawed, could last at refrigerated temperatures for a longer-than-expected 30 days.
The vaccine's preliminary 94.5 percent efficacy is a "really important milestone," Moderna president Dr. Stephen Hoge told The Associated Press. But more importantly, the fact that both it and Pfizer's vaccine had similar results "should give us all hope that actually a vaccine is going to be able to stop this pandemic and hopefully get us back to our lives." The company said it expects to seek emergency authorization use from the Food and Drug Administration by early December, once more data has come in.
Pfizer announced last week that its COVID-19 vaccine, developed with BioNTech, was 90 percent effective in phase three trials. The better-than-expected vaccine data arrived as the total number of U.S. infections surpassed 11 million. Michigan and Washington state on Sunday became the latest states to announce broad new restrictions on private gatherings and many businesses to fight the latest wave in the pandemic.