The first two Covid-19 vaccines have now delivered positive news to end the pandemic. The encouraging late-stage results from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. set a high bar for competitors like AstraZeneca Plc, who are expected to follow soon with their own key reports.
The data is likely to increase confidence that more vaccines will work and that the world could soon find a way to get the coronavirus under control. Here’s what we know about the two recordings.
How do the results compare?
Moderna said Monday that its vaccine was 94.5% effective in a preliminary analysis. This compares favorably to the high level that Pfizer and its partner BioNTech SE had achieved a week earlier. The shot created by the US and German companies was found to be more than 90% effective. Moderna data showed that side effects were generally short-lived and there were no significant safety concerns, while study participants who received the vaccine did not experience any serious Covid cases. Earlier this year, US regulators issued guidelines that every shot should be at least 50% effective.
What do the two vaccines have in common?
Both recordings are based on a technology called messenger RNA, which has never been used to develop an approved vaccine before. The approach aims to transform the body’s own cells into factories for the production of vaccines. The vaccines tell cells to make copies of the coronavirus spike protein, which stimulates the production of protective antibodies.
How are they different?
Moderna received $ 955 million from the US Operation Warp Speed program. Pfizer said it didn’t get federal funding to develop its vaccine, despite BioNTech receiving up to € 375 million in government aid. Still, Pfizer has signed a supply deal with the United States worth nearly $ 2 billion. The US has agreed to pay up to $ 1.53 billion to purchase the Moderna shot.
What are the challenges in storage and distribution?
After vaccines are approved, a number of other hurdles will have to be overcome to immunize hundreds of millions of people. The storage and distribution of some products is complex. Pfizer’s vaccine must be kept ultra-cold for up to a few days before use, but it can be kept at refrigerator temperature for up to five days. Moderna, meanwhile, pointed to new data showing its vaccine is stable for 30 days at refrigerator temperatures, much longer than the previously estimated seven days. It can be stored in freezers for longer term and does not require special facilities for the Pfizer vaccine.
Where Do Vaccines Go First?
Global demand for vaccines is likely to far exceed supply at first, although significant efforts have been made to ramp up production ahead of schedule. Moderna has already made agreements to deliver 100 million cans to the US and 80 million to the European Union, among other things. The UK said Monday it was negotiating with the company but no doses would be available in the country until next spring at the earliest. Pfizer and BioNTech have their own offerings for hundreds of millions of exposures.
When could they be ready for use?
The results are preliminary, but both Moderna and Pfizer are expected to seek emergency clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration if further reviews indicate their vaccines are safe. Moderna said it could seek regulatory approval in the coming weeks. Pfizer expects two months of safety data in the third week of November. If all goes well, Pfizer could apply for approval in the US this month.
What are the big questions that are still open?
There are a number of hurdles that would have to be overcome in immunizing hundreds of millions of people. It is still uncertain how long protection from potential vaccines would last and how many people would refuse to roll up their sleeves once a shot is actually used. Healthcare advocates fear that rising doubts about Covid vaccines could hinder adoption. Starting production and distributing the cans is also a challenge.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)