“This vaccine presents the opportunity of using doctors’ offices, clinics and pharmacies as vaccination sites.”

Infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner on reports Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is nearly 95 percent effective, and can be stored easily in refrigerators already in use in doctors offices around the world.

  • THE LATEST: Moderna is the second biotech company to announce promising clinical trial results for a COVID-19 vaccine in recent days. This data is according to a preliminary analysis by an independent data & safety monitoring board.
    • Last week, Pfizer announced the results of its Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial show it’s over 90% effective.
      • Like the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna’s is an MRNA vaccine. To date, no MRNA vaccine has been approved for human use.
      • Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna’s can be stored and shipped at normal refrigerator temperatures. It also has a longer “shelf life.” One of the challenges to developing an effective vaccine is simply logistics – getting the treatment to patients, safely and effectively.
  • ABOUT THE TRIAL: Moderna‘s vaccine trial involves 30,000 adult participants in the U.S. Half received two doses of the vaccine 28 days apart and the other half received a placebo 28 days apart. 95 participants got COVID-19, but only five of those participants were in the group that received the vaccine; 90 received the placebo.
  • FYI: Moderna’s president Dr. Stephen Hoge said that although the news provides hope that a vaccine will help stop COVID-19, Moderna alone can’t solve COVID-19 and many vaccines are needed.
  • BIG PICTURE: Pfizer and Moderna have yet to apply for emergency use authorization, but they’re expected to do so soon. Officials say a vaccine could be available for vulnerable populations by the end of the year, and more widely available as early as April.