Developments of Boston-based biotech company Moderna on the vaccine for COVID-19 gives tentative hopes to combat the pandemic. Though Moderna COVID-19 vaccine results are encouraging, some data is missing.
Moderna COVID19 Study
The vaccine named mRNA-1273 under the aegis of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is in phase 1 of human trial. Moderna announced that the vaccine injected in eight patients had shown positive immune response. Moderna’s CMO said that low doses elicited an immune response of the magnitude caused by natural infection. Also, he mentioned that its side-effects include chills and redness in the injected area. Further, he stated that the data substantiates that the vaccine has the potential for fighting the COVID-19 virus.
The researchers tested the potency of the vaccine by giving two doses to participants. The volunteers showed enough antibodies to thwart infection, two weeks after the treatment. Besides, they showed the same level of protection that the people who have recovered from the infection show.
The company has received regulatory clearance for the Phase II trial, which will involve a larger sample size. Further, it is planning for Phase III tests and will soon start to scale up its manufacturing. However, the company’s report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that the commercial availability of vaccines would take around 12 to 18 months.
The news came out as a breakthrough with a wave of media hysteria. Consequently, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 900 points, and Moderna shares witnessed a USD 20 jump. However, the campaign began to collapse within 36 hours of the announcement as the manufacturer did not have enough data to support the outcomes of this small study.
After that, the Moderna shares plunged by 10 per cent as medical publication STAT published a report raising the most simple scientific questions. Also, the report revealed that the company provided the data only for eight people, whereas 45 people were involved in the study. The move dragged Dow Jones Industrial Average down along with Indian equity market.
In all, the British PM Johnson and WHO may have rightly pointed out that there may never be a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. For now, there is too little information on the success of vaccines against the Coronavirus.