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What do you know about the Covid-19 vaccine from Moderna

Credit …Timmy Alvarez / Associated Press

Scientists randomly assigned volunteers to obtain the Moderna vaccine or a placebo. The trial was blind, which means that neither the volunteers nor the people running the trial know who got what.

Over time, some of the volunteers became ill with Covid-19. To get a first idea of ​​how the experiment was going, an independent panel of experts looked at the first 95 participants who contracted the disease. Ninety of them received the placebo, and only five received the vaccine. Based on that data, the board estimated the vaccine was 94.5 percent effective.

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In the short term, no. The earliest time that coronavirus vaccines will become widely available will be in the spring. But if effective vaccines do become available – and if most people get them – the pandemic could shrink dramatically. With the rare occurrence of infection with the Coronavirus, life can gradually return to normal

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Covid-19 can lead to mild illness, or it can lead to a serious condition that requires hospitalization and oxygen support. Of the 95 people who became ill in the Moderna study, 11 had severe disease. None of these 11 people were vaccinated. In other words, the five vaccinated subjects had only mild symptoms, and all severe cases were participants from the placebo group.

“The cleavage couldn’t be more appropriate,” said Natalie Dean, a biostatistician at the University of Florida.

The split indicates that the Moderna vaccine not only prevents the virus in most cases, but also protects people who get sick from the worst outcomes of the disease. It also alleviates concerns that the Covid-19 vaccine may make the disease worse rather than better.

Credit …Timmy Alvarez / Associated Press

Moderna has recruited 30,000 volunteers across the United States to share its experience. A quarter of the participants are 65 years or older. Whites make up 63 percent of the volunteers; 20 percent are Hispanic. 10 percent of blacks And 4 percent of Asian Americans.

The 95 people who contracted Covid-19 reflect the diversity of the Moderna volunteers: fifteen people who were 65 and older. The group also included 12 Hispanic volunteers, four black participants, three Asian Americans and one multi-ethnic person. In its announcement, Moderna said that efficacy and safety appear to be the same in all subgroups. But researchers will have to wait until the trial progresses further to confirm this finding.

Credit …Anna Money Maker for the New York Times

[Read more on Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.]

Too many like this. The United States government has provided $ 1 billion to support the design and testing of Moderna’s vaccine. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have overseen a lot of research, including clinical trials. Moderna also received an additional $ 1.5 billion for 100 million doses if the vaccine proved safe and effective.

Although Pfizer has its own pre-purchase agreement for the vaccine, it does Did not take Warp Speed ​​money process to support its design or testing.

Credit …Carlo Allegri / Reuters

[Read more on Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.]

Pfizer provided fewer details in its announcement last week on November 9 than Moderna did on Monday, November 16. Pfizer’s external panel of experts analyzed 94 volunteers and estimated their vaccine effectiveness to be over 90 percent. They did not specify how many people had contracted the disease and received the vaccine or placebo.

However, the estimates for the two vaccines are clearly in the same playing field. Moreover, they both far exceed FDA requirements that coronavirus vaccines have an efficacy of over 50 percent.

Pfizer did not report how many volunteers had contracted the severe Covid-19 virus, or what fraction of those people got the vaccine. Results like this are expected in the next few weeks.

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Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are similar not only because they use mRNA but also because they induce our cells to make the same viral protein called spike. Other vaccines Which does not use mRNA make the spike protein its target. Moderna and Pfizer may also bode well for them.

A number of teams have created vaccines based on another virus called adenovirus, for example. The adenovirus slides into cells, delivering the gene to the spiky protein. On Wednesday, sponsor a Russian vaccine Advertise Its vaccine for tomorrow’s viruses, called Sputnik V, was 90% effective. Outside experts wanted to see more data, because the ad was based on only 20 sick volunteers – far less than Moderna and Pfizer experience.

AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are also conducting phase 3 trials of adenoviruses that carry the Spiky protein gene. Other companies, including Novavax and Medicago, are developing advanced trials of vaccines that deliver the spike protein itself, or parts of it, into the body.

Credit …Timmy Alvarez / Associated Press

we do not know. Moderna and Pfizer both began their trials on July 27, so we’ve only been able to follow their volunteers for a few months now.

Vaccines are envisioned to provide long-term protection, or to disappear in less than a year and require a boost.

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Pfizer and Moderna used the same basic design to build their vaccines. Both vaccines contain a genetic molecule called messenger RNA, which is wrapped in an oil bubble. The bubble can fuse into a muscle cell and deliver RNA. This molecule encodes instructions for building a single coronavirus protein called spike. When a immune cell releases copies of the spike protein, the immune system learns to make antibodies against it.

While scientists have been investigating mRNA vaccines for years, no vaccine that is safe and effective has been licensed for use in humans. When Moderna and other vaccine makers began designing mRNA vaccines for coronaviruses, skeptics wondered how successful they would be. The first two reports from Moderna and Pfizer both indicate that this type of vaccine may work very well. Neither trial revealed serious side effects of the vaccines, although studies continue on their safety.

“I expect some similarities in the way they perform,” said Natalie Dean, a biostatistician at the University of Florida. “I think I would have had a lot of questions if they got different results.”

Credit …Denis Balibus / Reuters

Moderna and Pfizer are continuing to collect more data from large studies. The two companies expect to file an application with the Food and Drug Administration in the next few weeks for an emergency use permit to start vaccinating the public.

The Food and Drug Administration will review requests and consult with its external expert panel before making a decision. If vaccines are authorized – experts believe – a committee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make recommendations on who should be the first to receive the vaccine.

One or both vaccines will likely begin distributing by the end of the year.

Credit …Zhang W. Lee / The New York Times

“It’s not going to take us away from what awaits us next month,” warned Natalie Dean, a biostatistician at the University of Florida.

If vaccine preparations do not meet any major hurdles, we can realistically hope that widespread distribution will begin in the spring.

but with Explosive cases across the country Now, we need to take immediate measures. The only way to lower infection rates for now is to avoid large indoor gatherings, wear masks, practice physical distancing, and use other public health measures.

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