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Second vaccine for COVID-19 achieves success

Pharmaceutical Moderna reported Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine is proving highly effective in a larger trial, a second ray of hope in the global race for an injection to suppress a resurgent virus that now kills more than 8,000 people. daily.

The company said its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from Moderna’s still-ongoing study. Rival Pfizer Inc. announced a week ago that its own COVID-19 vaccine was showing similar effectiveness – news that put both companies on track to get approval for its use in a matter of weeks in the United States.

The vaccine isn’t coming soon enough, as coronavirus cases topped 11 million in the United States over the weekend – a million of them recorded just last week. The pandemic has killed more than 1.3 million people worldwide, more than 245,000 of them in the United States.

Moderna’s chairman, physician Stephen Hoge, celebrated the “very important milestone,” although he noted that it is more reassuring that there are similar results from two different companies.

“That should give us all hope that a vaccine can really stop this pandemic and hopefully bring us back into our lives,” Hoge told The Associated Press.

“It will not only be Modern that solves this problem. It’s going to take a lot of vaccines ”to meet global demand, he added.

Still, should the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allow emergency use of the Moderna or Pfizer candidate vaccines, there will be limited and rationed supplies before the end of the year. The two vaccines require two people to receive two doses, spaced several weeks apart from each other.

Moderna expects to have approximately 20 million doses destined for the United States by the end of 2020. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech expect to have approximately 50 million doses worldwide by the end of the year.

The reaction in world stock markets was immediate. The Dow Jones doubled its gains before the start of operations and rose 500 points before the day. Moderna shares, which soared 13%, are expected to hit all-time highs. Markets in Asia and Europe also posted strong momentum.

Moderna’s vaccine, created in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, is being studied in 30,000 volunteers who receive either the real vaccine or a sham injection. On Sunday, an independent monitoring committee violated the code to examine 95 infections that, according to records, started two weeks after the second dose to volunteers – and found that all but five of those illnesses occurred in participants who received the placebo.