|American biotech company Moderna said on Monday its vaccine appears to 94.5 per cent effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s ongoing study.
A week ago, Pfizer Inc. announced its own COVID-19 vaccine appeared effective — news that puts both companies on track to seek permission within weeks for emergency use in the U.S. The Canadian government struck deals with both companies in the event their vaccines gets approval, securing a firm commitment for 20 million doses with respect to Moderna.
Moderna acknowledged the protection rate might change as more COVID-19 infections are detected in its study involving 30,000 volunteers. The main side-effects noticed so far were fatigue, muscle aches and injection-site pain after the vaccine’s second dose, at rates characterized as more common than with flu shots but on par with the shingles vaccine.
The vaccine works to fend off the virus in a similar way as Pfizer’s, and both require people to get two shots, several weeks apart. But while Pfizer’s shots require long-term storage at ultra-cold temperatures, Moderna says regular freezer temperatures will suffice for its vaccine.
CBC News spoke to Montreal epidemiologist Dr. Christopher Labos about the preliminary Moderna data and how the vaccine works to combat the virus.