"Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2" by Felipeesquivel20 / CC BY-SA 4.0

COVID vaccine excitement builds as Moderna reports third positive result

Nov 16, 2020

By Ewen Callaway

They say good news comes in threes. For the third time in a week, a coronavirus vaccine developer has reported preliminary results suggesting its vaccine is highly effective.

Today, biotech company Moderna in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reported that its RNA-based vaccine was more than 94% effective at preventing COVID-19, based on an analysis of 95 cases in its ongoing phase III efficacy trial.

But scientists say that the press-released results share a few more details than last week’s positive announcements from Pfizer and BioNtech, which are together working on a rival RNA vaccine, and from Russian developers behind the controversial ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine. Moderna released figures suggesting that its vaccine was likely to prevent severe COVID-19 infections, something that was not clear from the other developers’ announcements.

“We need to see the peer-reviewed data, but by any standards, this looks like more very good news,” says Daniel Altmann, an immunologist at Imperial College London.

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