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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Early Data Show Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine Is 94.5% Effective

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Posted at 5:35 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 17:35:38-05

There is more good news on the vaccine front with a second company announcing preliminary results. Drugmaker Moderna says clinical trial data found its vaccine to be 94.5% effective.

Yes, it’s fantastic. I am once again excited to be sharing great news – you can really see that hope is on the horizon with these potential vaccines. We talked about Pfizer last week and how their vaccine rate was 90% effective. Now here is Moderna, with an even higher rate of 94.5%. Having said that, we still have to be realistic here. And just as I said with Pfizer last week, these numbers are preliminary and they could change because the trials are still ongoing.

In Moderna’s study, 15,000 participants were given the vaccine, which consists of two shots that are four weeks apart. Then another 15,000 participants were given saltwater shots – what we refer to as placebo shots. The preliminary data involved 95 cases, so 95 people caught the coronavirus. But here’s the good news, only five of them had been given the experimental vaccine. While 90 of them had gotten the placebo shots. What’s really interesting here, is that 11 of these cases were severe - and they all were from the placebo group. This indicates that the vaccine could potentially prevent people from getting severely sick.

If these two vaccines are not transported and stored properly, then they’ll become inactive – they’ll basically be useless. So what temperatures do they need? Moderna’s vaccine needs to be stored at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. While Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be kept at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit - that’s very, very cold. It’s a bit of a hurdle because most doctor offices, clinics, and pharmacies do not have ultra-cold freezers. While that’s a challenge for Pfizer, it’s not an issue for Moderna.

Moderna’s vaccine is kept at the same temperature as the chickenpox and other vaccines. Most places should easily be able to store it. Moderna’s vaccine has a 30-day shelf life in the refrigerator and will last 12 hours at room temperature. Now, while I am ecstatic to share this news about the vaccines and their efficacy rates, I also want to remind you folks that we are still months away from any potential vaccine being offered to the general public. So please, we all need to be extra vigilant and not let our guard down.