Three cheers for competition! Pharmaceutical company Moderna has developed a coronavirus vaccine that is 94.5 percent effective. Dr. Fauci called that effective rate “as good as it gets.”
The Moderna vaccine has the added benefit of staying stable at 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit–the temperature range of a regular refrigerator. Pfizer’s vaccine (which was announced last week) must be kept at much colder temperatures—much colder than a home or hospital freezer can reach. So, the Moderna vaccine is much easier store and transport. The company has also said that the vaccine does not have any serious side effects.
Modena expects to have 20 million doses ready by the end of the year. A second shot will need to be administered about a month later.
Like Pfizer, Moderna was a part of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed. Unlike Pfizer, which initially denied its participation, Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel thanked Operation Warp Speed in his initial statement about the new vaccine, saying, “I want to thank our partners at BARDA and Operation Warp Speed who have been instrumental to accelerating our progress to this point.”
Several other pharmaceutical companies—that also participated in Operation Warp Speed—are expected to announce their vaccines soon.
Watch Moderna’s CEO Bancel discuss the vaccine with Maria Bartiromo here.