The Conversation: Moderna’s COVID vaccine reports 95% efficacy

The American biotech company Moderna has released early data from phase III clinical trials, announcing that its COVID-19 vaccine has an efficacy level of 94.5%.

Like Pfizer's vaccine, the Moderna vaccine is also an mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccine, however will be easier to distribute as its temperature requirements are 4℃ for 30 days (rather than -70℃ as in the case of the Pfizer vaccine); and for storage requirements beyond 30 days it needs to be kept at -20℃.

The stage III trial involved 30,000 participants, out of those 95 people developed COVID-19 in the week after the final vaccination, with 90 of those being in the placebo group and only 5 in the group who received the COVID vaccine.

It is unknown how long protection from this vaccine lasts and how effective it is in the elderly, pregnant women or those with a chronic illness; however, in results Moderna published in September the vaccine produced a similar amount of antibodies in adults over 70 as adults under 70 years of age. It did however induce fewer T cells in people aged over 71, so at this stage it is not know whether this will result in lower protection or shorter lasting immunity in the elderly.

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COVID19 疫苗之路第 17 集:与 Bonnie Henry 博士一起在加拿大不列颠哥伦比亚省如何管理 COVID-19 大流行

在我们的 COVID19 疫苗之路系列的第 17 集中,我们的主持人 Nigel Crawford 副教授与加拿大 BC 省卫生官员 (PHO) Bonnie Henry 博士进行了交谈。作为 PHO,邦妮正在领导全省应对新冠肺炎 (COVID-19) 疫情的工作。 Bonnie 自 2018 年初以来一直担任这一职务,在此之前曾担任副 PHO 三年。她专注于公共卫生和预防医学,并拥有在巴基斯坦参与世界卫生组织和联合国儿童基金会根除脊髓灰质炎项目以及在乌干达埃博拉疫情期间与世界卫生组织合作的背景。她拥有领导应对 SARS、H1N1 大流行和 BC 省药物过量紧急情况的经验。邦妮是不列颠哥伦比亚大学医学院的副教授,也是加拿大国家免疫咨询委员会的成员。她和奈杰尔讨论了以下内容:

  • Bonnie 目前的职责是领导 BC 省应对 COVID-19 大流行
  • 她从 2003 年 SARS 爆发中学到了什么,以及如何将这些经验和知识应用于当前的大流行,例如接触者追踪、控制疫情的重要性以及与公众沟通的重要性
  • COVID-19 疫苗将在加拿大发挥的作用以及需要面对的挑战,例如物流、确保足够的安全性、确定首先免疫的优先群体以及保护土著社区
  • 监测免疫接种后不良事件的至关重要



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BBC: Covid vaccine - First 'milestone' vaccine offers 90% protection

Vaccine developers Pfizer and BioNTech have announced preliminary data shows their COVID-19 vaccine is demonstrating 90% effectiveness. The vaccine has been tested on over 43,000 people in six countries (USA, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and Turkey). They are planning to apply for emergency approval so the vaccine can be in use by the end of November.

Requiring two doses three weeks apart, the vaccine has been developed using an mRNA platform. Scientists take part of the virus’s genetic code and coat it in a lipid so that it can enter the body’s cells resulting in the production of the coronavirus spike protein, prompting the immune system to produce antibodies and T-cells to kill the infected cells. If the person who has been immunised encounters the virus, the antibodies and T-cells are then activated to fight the virus.

It is not known how effective the vaccine will be in elderly people as yet or how long immunity will last. This vaccine is not without manufacturing and logistical challenges, as mRNA vaccines need to be stored at minus 80 degrees Celsius. To date, no major safety issues have been identified.

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BBC: Covid vaccine: First 'milestone' vaccine offers 90% protection