Moderna follows Pfizer with COVID-19 vaccine

Darnell Taylor
November 17, 2020

Pfizer Inc said yesterday it was starting a pilot programme for Covid-19 immunisation in four U.S. states to help refine the plan for the delivery and deployment of its vaccine candidate.

Pfizer's vaccine, which was shown to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on initial data, must be shipped and stored at -70 degrees Celsius (minus 94F), significantly below the standard for vaccines of 2-8 degrees Celsius (36-46F).

The American pharma giant said on Tuesday, it will begin a pilot coronavirus immunization program in four USA states.

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The four states - Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico, and Tennessee - were selected for the program due to their differences in overall size, diversity of populations and immunization infrastructure, the drugmaker said in a statement. That EUA, should it be granted, will be based on data from 151 confirmed cases among the Phase 3 participant group (which included 30,000 participants in total), and data from follow-ups extending on average over two months after case confirmation.

News from US drug company Moderna Inc. that its potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate has also been more than 90 per cent effective in clinical trials sent stock markets soaring on Monday, boosting hopes that the global economy may soon fully convalesce and things could get back to normal.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech SE have a $1.95 billion deal to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine to the US government, which has an option to acquire up to an additional 500 million doses. "I think realistically both of our platforms validate each other in a very important way because both use MRNA technology", says Moderna Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tal Zaks.

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