Indications are that we may be seeing some light at the coronavirus pandemic tunnel, as a second announcement of a promising vaccine for COVID-19 was released this month.
Monday, pharmaceutical company Moderna stated that its vaccine shots would provide users significant protection against contracting the coronavirus. This statement can only be seen as a ray of hope in an otherwise grim time, as the coronavirus numbers once again begin to surge across the globe.
In the statement issued, Moderna said that it appears that their vaccine is 94.5% effective, according to the company’s preliminary data. Moderna also offered that the study’s into the vaccine's effectiveness is still ongoing at this time.
This vaccine announcement is the second in as many weeks as Pfizer announced last week that the COVID-19 vaccine the company had been working on has been presenting with similar effectiveness.
The high percentage of reported effectiveness of the vaccines will serve to fast track the companies receiving federal permission for emergency distribution in the US within only weeks.
Moderna’s president, Dr. Stephen Hoge, welcomed the "really important milestone" but went further in stating that the confirmation of such similar results from two different developing companies was what was the most reassuring in the situation.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Hoge said, "That should give us all hope that actually a vaccine is going to be able to stop this pandemic and hopefully get us back to our lives."
Hoge added that it would require many pharmaceutical companies, with their own vaccine, and not just Moderna, to meet the global demand.
With all of this said, unfortunately, it appears that a vaccine may not come fast enough. Over this past weekend, the coronavirus cases topped over 11 million in the US alone—1 million of these cases were reported to have been confirmed within the past week alone.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will have the final word or the timing and eventual distribution of any possible vaccine. However, if the FDA grants emergency use of either pharmaceutical giants vaccine, it would mean that even with limited and rationed supplies, the vaccine may begin distribution by the end of the year.
The proposed COVID-19 vaccine, unlike the flu vaccine, will require two shots for effectiveness, which will need administering several weeks apart. Moderna has stated that they expect to earmark approximately 20 million doses for US citizens by the end of 2020.
Could this news finally be the break that the world has been waiting to hear?