Moderna's Covid vaccine is 95% effective
Moderna is the latest pharmaceutical company to announce an effective COVID-19 vaccine.
The company's mRNA-1273 vaccine was found to be effective in 95 per cent of people tested in clinical trials. The trial involved 30,000 people in the US with half being given the vaccine, while the other half was given a dummy.
The company have stated they will apply to US regulators in the coming weeks.
Like the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, it works by injecting a portion of the virus's genetic code to provoke an immune response. It also has to be administered in two doses, in this case four weeks apart.
As well as being slightly more effective in clinical trials (effective in 95 per cent of cases compared to Pfizer and BioNTech's 92 per cent), it's easier to store and transport, as it remains stable at minus 20C for up to six months, and can be kept in a conventional fridge for up to a month. Pfizer's vaccine needs a temperature of minus 75C to be stored long term.
According to Bloomberg Intelligence, while Moderna's has a slight advantage, both vaccines will be used because of production constraints. Additionally, long term protection from both the vaccines is still unknown.
Moderna is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Operation Warp Speed among others, to be prepared to distribute the vaccine once it receives regulatory approval.
The company expects to have approximately 20 million doses ready to ship in the US, and is aiming to manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021.
Bloomberg's white paper states that the cost per dose is between $15.30 to $24.80, and its future price will depend on what other vaccines are available, and the length of protection.
"This is a pivotal moment in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate" Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna said. "Since early January, we have chased this virus with the intent to protect as many people around the world as possible. All along, we have known that each day matters. This positive interim analysis from our Phase 3 study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease.”
"We look forward to the next milestones of submitting for an EUA (Emergency Use Authorsation) in the US, and regulatory filings in countries around the world, while we continue to collect data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in the COVE study. We remain committed to and focused on doing our part to help end the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Dexcom: changing the lives of people with type 1 diabetes
It is estimated that 9.3% of adults around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, which amounts to a total of 463 million people. A further 1.1 million children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with the condition.
Unlike the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body still produces insulin and symptoms develop slowly, people with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections or pumps, and must monitor their sugar levels frequently.
In recent years a number of remote glucose monitoring systems have become available that patients can use at home. These work with a sensor, usually placed under the skin, that measures glucose levels every few minutes. This information is then transmitted wirelessly to a device like a smartphone or tablet, which can then be shared with their clinician.
British actress Nina Wadia's son Aidan, 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has been managing his condition using Dexcom, a glucose monitoring system used by patients all over the world. Here Wadia explains how Dexcom has improved their lives.
As a parent of someone with type 1 diabetes, what is your day-to-day life like?
Being able to take a breath, think and pivot constantly without getting frustrated becomes an essential mindset because sometimes it feels like each day is determined to be different from the day before. Whatever worked yesterday is going to misfire today.
Which areas of yours and Aidan’s life are most impacted by diabetes?
The one thing that you have to fight hard to reclaim is spontaneity, especially when it comes to food and exercise. It’s only when this is taken do you realise how essential each one is. You can be flexible and there are no real limits, but only in the sense that a great athlete can be flexible without limits because they’ve trained super hard to be that way. So we’ve all had to become athletes when it comes to being spontaneous.
How has Dexcom helped you and Aidan?
Dexcom has brought future science fiction to real life today. The continuous glucose monitoring system is tiny, sits discreetly on his body and gives him a ten-day breather between sensor changes, so it's goodbye finger-pricking seven times daily.
Dexcom is totally active at a grass roots level and for Diabetes Awareness has pledged to donate £2,000 if #DexcomDiabetesStories and/or #DexcomWarriorStories is shared 200 times! I’ll be sharing more on social media and would love to hear how other families are winning their fights.
Maybe most importantly Dexcom is trying to introduce a reimbursement programme for type 1 diabetes patients which will give greater access to modern, life changing hi-tech. I want to spread the word on the importance of accessing it through this campaign.
If you compared your life today with how it was before Aidan was using Dexcom, what has changed?
It's always working, which lets him take his mind off diabetes for longer stretches. It also lets me get off his back. We both receive alerts so I no longer have to pester him by asking him what his number is, and especially importantly, I don’t have to wake him at night to prick his finger if I’m worried. Dexcom gave us back our sleep!