Produced by the US company Moderna and in collaboration with the US government's Operation Warp Speed, a novel vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 has shown 94.5% efficacy according to preliminary results.
The vaccine reportedly has a shelf life of up to 30 days in a commercial refrigerator and can stand being at room temperature for up to 12 hours. And at -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius) it remains viable for up to six months.
These findings suggest that it's significantly easier to store and transport this vaccine around when compared to the recent Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine—which was announced about a week ago and has 90% efficacy.
Pfizer vaccine also requires a much more controlled environment as it requires to be stored in lower temperatures. And thus, since last week, countries around the world were trying to come up with a way to handle the logistics of deploying the Pfizer vaccine around.
The data summarized
The Moderna vaccine works in the same way as the Pfizer one, they're both mRNA vaccines. This type of vaccine has not been used extensively before, so it would be a farfetched fantasy to imagine them both being deployed globally at full speed yet.
In the study involving about 30 thousand people, each participant was given two shots, some placebo and some real. During study, 95 people were tested COVID-19 positive and only 5 of them belonged to the vaccinated group. In the vaccinated group, no one got "seriously" ill with COVID. The same cannot be said about the placebo group, however. 11 participants from the placebo group developed heavy symptoms.
Moderna expects to manufacture about 20 million doses of the vaccine this year. And a couple of shots is expected to cost $30.50.
The study will not be finalized until 151 people become infected, Moderna hinted that the efficacy statistics might fluctuate until that point.