Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, On Monday, announced their preliminary results based on 95 of the 30,000 volunteers they had recruited who fell ill with Covid-19.
Of the 95, 90 had been in the trial’s placebo group, and five in the group that received the drug, called mRNA-1273, translating to an efficacy rate of 94.5%.
The vaccine is based on a relatively new technology that uses a synthetic version of a molecule called “messenger RNA” to hack into human cells, and effectively turn them into vaccine-making factories.
Anthony Fauci, United States’ top infectious disease expert, says he would have settled for vaccines with a prevention rate of 70-75%.
In an interview with AFP, Fauci said the idea that there is a 94.5% effective vaccine is stunningly impressive. “It is really a spectacular result that I don’t think anybody had anticipated would be this good.”
He added that the findings were an emphatic validation of experimental mRNA technology that some had doubted.
Fauci leads the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which began co-developing the vaccine with the US biotech company in January