"We are very happy indeed to transition our potential vaccine candidate to clinical trials and offer one more potential option for the prophylaxis of Covid-19", asserted Mahima Datla, Managing Director, Biological E. Ltd, in a report by the news agency.
The platform, called AdVac, is also used in an Ebola vaccine that was approved earlier this year. Soon, millions of people around the world could be spared from illness by the breakthroughs.
"This positive interim analysis from our phase III study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease", Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, said in a statement.
Ninety cases of COVID-19, including all 11 severe cases seen so far, happened in the placebo cohort, versus five cases among people who received mRNA-1273.
A Government spokesman said: "The news from Moderna appears to be good and represents another significant step towards finding an effective Covid-19 vaccine".
The results arrive at a moment when the pandemic's grip is tightening.
He said: "More vaccine trials are needed to better understand how effective they will be in different age groups, in people with chronic medical conditions and for how long the vaccines will provide immunity". Deaths and hospitalizations are also rising. That final data is expected later this month. Moderna received $2.5 billion from the USA government to support research, development and manufacturing of its vaccine candidate, whereas Pfizer signed a contract to sell doses to the US government.
"We won't get a true impact from this until the vaccine is manufactured and distributed widely, which probably won't happen until Q1 next year". Pfizer's experimental vaccine requires ultra-cold storage and are being stored in special freezers until approval and distribution.
Fauci projected that by the end of December, there will be doses of vaccine from both Moderna and Pfizer available for individuals "in the higher-risk category".
Europe's health regulator said on Monday it had launched a real-time "rolling review" of Moderna's vaccine, following similar reviews of vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
The government has said the NHS vaccine registry needs volunteers who are most vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus, including frontline health and social care workers and people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds.
The Data Safety Monitoring Board found that the vaccine was generally safe and well tolerated. "It shows that mRNA can be a drug". He said even if the target were met, vaccines wouldn't be enough for everyone. That's easier to accomplish with the pandemic in the USA surging.
Spain's Health Minister, Salvador Illa, hopes that "this week or next" some more contracts can be signed with new pharmaceutical companies to acquire a future vaccine against Covid-19.
The trial is co-funded by the government's Vaccine Taskforce and the potential vaccine is the third to enter clinical trials in the United Kingdom, after ones being developed by U.S. biotech company Novavax (NVAX) and a partnership between the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. The vaccine can remain stable at -4 degrees Fahrenheit for up to six months and at room temperature for 24 hours, the company said.
He said the next milestones for the vaccine will be the applications for Emergency Use Authorisation in the US, EU and elsewhere around the world in the coming weeks.
The data shared by Moderna so far leave some questions unanswered.
The Moderna and Pfizer studies were conducted using slightly different protocols.
Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman Munira Wilson tweeted the vaccine news was "fantastic" but added: "Shame we weren't part of the European Union vaccine procurement prog, or we'd have early access to the Moderna vaccine, as well as Pfizer vaccine".
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