Officials said Moderna will apply for emergency use authorization from the FDA to distribute its vaccine once it finishes compiling safety data later this month. File Photo by CJ Gunther/EPA-EFE
Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The COVID-19 vaccine under development by U.S. biotech firm Moderna is 94.5% effective in preventing infection, according to interim data the company published Monday.
Moderna said early analysis from its late-stage "COVE" clinical trial for its mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate was based on nearly 100 COVID-19 cases.
"This is a pivotal moment in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate," Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement. "Since early January, we have chased this virus with the intent to protect as many people around the world as possible. All along, we have known that each day matters.
"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."
Moderna said its COVE trial has found no serious side effects from the mRNA-1273 vaccine.
Bancel said the company will apply for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to distribute the vaccine once it finishes compiling safety data later this month.
"These are obviously very exciting results," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, said Monday. "It's just as good as it gets -- 94.5% is truly outstanding."
Moderna's results are similar to those published last week by drugmaker Pfizer, which said its vaccine has shown to be about 90% effective.
Other vaccines are being tested in late-stage trials by Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Novavax.
Fauci said last week a vaccine could be available to the most at-risk populations before the end of the year.