Moderna's COVID-19 Vaccine Interim Results Are Positive

The front-runner vaccine will enter final stage with more positive results published.
Fabienne Lang

As different companies and nations around the world rush to discover a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, some are starting to show results of volunteer tests. 

Moderna's investigational vaccine, mRNA-1273, has shown promising initial results by being generally well tolerated and prompting neutralizing antibodies in healthy adults. 


Experimental vaccine is safe

Moderna's vaccine trial is ongoing and supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the U.S.

The first volunteer to receive Moderna's trial vaccine was injected on March 16. The trial's interim report focuses on 45 participants aged 18 - 55. The participants were divided into three groups of 15 people who received two intramuscular injections, 28 days apart, receiving either 25, 100, or 250 micrograms of the trial vaccine.

The trial has now grown to include people over 55 years old, with a total of 120 participants. However, only the first group under 55 years of age was part of the interim results. 

There were no severe side effects

No serious side effects were reported. Over half of the volunteers did suffer from headaches, fatigue, chills, or pain where they were injected.

However, systemic adverse effects were reported by the group that was given the second injection and in those who received the higher dosage. 

The researchers reported that the two doses of the vaccine did prompt high levels of antibody activity. 

Phase 2 of the trial began in May, and Phase 3 is due to launch this month. It will be recruiting 30,000 participants in the U.S., with half of them to receive the vaccine at 100 micrograms, and the other half to receive a placebo.