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Moderna: Covid vaccine shows nearly 95% protection

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

A new vaccine that protects against Covid-19 is nearly 95% effective, early data from US company Moderna shows.


The results come hot on the heels of similar results from Pfizer, and add to growing confidence that vaccines can help end the pandemic. Both companies used a highly innovative and experimental approach to designing their vaccines.Moderna says it is a "great day" and they plan to apply for approval to use the vaccine in the next few weeks.

However, this is still early data and key questions remain unanswered.

Only five of the Covid cases were in people given the vaccine, 90 were in those given the dummy treatment. The company says the vaccine is protecting 94.5% of people.

How good is it?


The trial involved 30,000 people in the US with half being given two doses of the vaccine, four weeks apart. The rest had dummy injections.


The analysis was based on the first 95 to develop Covid-19 symptoms. Only five of the Covid cases were in people given the vaccine, 90 were in those given the dummy treatment. The company says the vaccine is protecting 94.5% of people.


The data also shows there were 11 cases of severe Covid in the trial, but none happened in people who were immunised.


"The overall effectiveness has been remarkable... it's a great day," Tal Zaks, the chief medical officer at Moderna, told BBC News.


Dr Stephen Hoge, the company's president, said he "grinned ear to ear for a minute" when the results came in.


He told BBC News: "I don't think any of us really hoped that the vaccine would be 94% effective at preventing Covid-19 disease, that was really a stunning realisation."


When will I get it?


Less than nine months since coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, vaccine supplies to protect people from COVID-19 are on their way to the UK.

The Federal Government is standing by its plan to roll out vaccinations against coronavirus from March 2021.

The country is the first to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine — a development that's been described as an extraordinary and unprecedented achievement.


As early as next week, British frontline health care workers and nursing home residents will begin rolling up their sleeves to get a COVID-19 jab.


But in Australia, the Federal Government is standing by its plan to roll out vaccinations against coronavirus from March 2021."Frankly, the work done in the UK will give Australia and the world very important data, very important lessons, both on the rollout and the efficacy of this particular vaccine, but vaccines more generally," said Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.


So what can Australia expect to learn — and what should we be looking for — as we watch and wait over the coming months?


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