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New Covid-19 Vaccine Nearly 95% Effective

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There's a new vaccine in the works and it's more effective than the one recently developed by Pfizer. This new vaccine, developed by Moderna, has been found to be 94.5% effective against Covid-19. 

"This positive interim analysis from our Phase 3 study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease," said Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna. 

Moderna was developed in partnership with the US National Institutes of Health. More than 30 000 participants took part in the clinical trial and 95 of them fell ill with Covid-19.

Of the 95 participants who took part in the trial, 90 were placed in the placebo group and 5 received a drug called mRNA-1273.

The participants handled the test well, as they were able to overcome the side-effects from the vaccine. 

Moderna must be taken in 2 doses, 28 days apart in order for it to be effective.  

"This news from Moderna is tremendously exciting and considerably boosts optimism that we will have a choice of good vaccines in the next few months," said Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London.

Unlike the vaccine developed by Pfizer, Moderna can be stored at refridgerator temperature (2°C to 8°C). 

The Pfizer vaccine, on the other hand must be stored in the deep freezer (-70 °C), making it less ideal to be exported to less developed countries. 

Despite this, Pfizer said their vaccine would most likely be ready by the end of the year if the trial continues to go well. The Pfizer vaccine is currently 90% effective against Covid-19. 

“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen." said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the vaccine would be manufactured in South Africa.

“In recognition of the country’s manufacturing capability, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world, Johnson & Johnson, has entered into a preliminary agreement with a local company, Aspen Pharmacare, to manufacture and package its candidate vaccine,” the President said.

It is still unclear just how effective both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are in the long-term but more will be discovered as the trials continue and reach 100% effectiveness. 

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