The Success of Moderna’s Vaccine Gives Hope for the End of the Pandemic
The stock market soared again on Monday with the announcement that the vaccine of the biotechnology company Moderna reached 94.5% effectiveness. The Cambridge-based company reported this in a press release. Last week, the cooperation between Pfizer and BioNTech reported a 90% effectiveness for their vaccine. Both vaccines are based on innovative messenger RNA technology, and both stimulate the immune system against the S protein of the coronavirus.
Therefore, two different vaccines tested in trials have achieved similar independent clinical results in both cases with higher efficiencies to 90%. This confirms the potential of the technology of the RNA messenger to obtain effective vaccines. Moreover, it shows that the strategy of neutralizing the protein S of the virus is adequate to prevent infections.
In fact, the result suggests that other vaccines that act against protein S and that are in an advanced development phase, such as AstraZeneca’s or Johnson & Johnson’s, among others, will also have high efficacy.
Anthony Fauci, the director of the American Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated that it is the light at the end of the tunnel. Fauci has collaborated with Moderna in the development of the vaccine.
The vaccine results are encouraging other immunogens that act against protein S of the virus
According to Fauci, if you look at the data, the numbers speak for themselves.
The company noted in its statement that there are no significant security concerns. Based on its progress, most volunteers with mild or moderate symptoms tolerated the vaccine well. Side effects include pain in the puncture site and, later, in the second dose, muscle fatigue and headaches. These are indications of the activation of the immune system to fight the virus.
An independent review has confirmed these results. The company expects to complete its trial phase in just two weeks, well ahead of schedule. Then it will apply for an emergency authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration. The FDA had established that a vaccine against Covid had to have a minimum efficacy of 50% to be authorized, a threshold that Moderna has widely exceeded.
Both Moderna’s and Pfizer-BionNTech’s vaccines rely on innovative messenger RNA (mRNA) technology to stimulate immune system. There is not an approved vaccine against any disease based on this technology yet. Their strategy is to introduce mRNA molecules directly into the body with the genetic instructions to make a virus protein. With these genetic instructions, cells of the human body itself produce the protein. Then , this activates the immune system to recognize and eliminate the virus if it encounters it in the future.
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