Two coronavirus vaccines available in U.S. in coming weeks: health secretary

30 Novembre, 2020, 18:51 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Vaccine freezer

Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines proved more effective than anticipated and were far superior to the 50% benchmark set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The report comes as the US hit another grim milestone, with the number of reported COVID-19 cases surpassing 13 million.

"Last week, we made the case for ramping up our PPE ahead of the winter months, and today we are making the case for ensuring this massive effort to deliver COVID-19 vaccines is not undermined simply because of politics".

Among other vaccine updates, the British government has secured two million doses of Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, to be available in Europe as early as the spring, according to a statement released by the No. 10.

The US biotech, whose share price has soared by more than half since it first unveiled promising vaccine trial data two weeks ago, said it would be submitting its findings to the US drugs regulator in the "coming weeks" alongside United Kingdom and European regulators.

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They will meet on December 10 to review Pfizer's data. Moderna's latest efficacy result is slightly lower than an interim analysis released on November 16 of 94.5% effectiveness, a difference that Zaks said was not statistically significant. The 196 cases included 33 adults over 65 and 42 volunteers from racially diverse groups, including 29 Latinos, 6 Blacks, 4 Asian Americans and 3 multiracial participants. Of the 196 people who contracted Covid-19 out of over 30,000 volunteers, 185 had received a placebo and 11 got the vaccine. Azra Ghani, chair in infectious disease epidemiology at Imperial College London, said Monday's details confirmed the vaccine was highly effective, including against severe cases. "States like NY will need funding to make sure the resources required once the vaccine is made available are both in place and in progress". "Therefore, it really is quite plausible that the short-term efficacy against severe disease is indeed close to 100%". But it has not caused any significant safety concerns so far.

"With a COVID-19 vaccine waiting in the wings, federal dollars need to follow if we are going to get this right and overcome this pandemic", said Schumer in the press release. That vaccine could be approved and shipped within days, with Moderna's following one week behind that, Azar said.

Experts said that even the "final" analyses of both vaccine trials - Pfizer's and Moderna's - will not provide the final answer about just how well the vaccines will work, especially in the long term, but their results, both boasting greater than 90% efficacy, bode well for the future.

Moderna said it will also ask European regulators for a conditional approval, and the company is on track to manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021.

"There's a light at the end of the - as of yet - very dark tunnel", he said, "but for the first time since March, I feel hopeful about turning a corner". Zaks said the vaccine caused significant flu-like symptoms in some participants which, "goes hand-in-hand with having such a potent vaccine".

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