Pfizer vaccine 90 percent effective in early data

Rise in demand for flu jabs in North East Lincolnshire

The UK has already secured 40 million doses of a vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech, which uses the same technology as Moderna and should be in the UK before Christmas.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are based on a new platform called messenger RNA, which is faster to produce than traditional vaccines.

The Moderna vaccine reduced the risk of Covid-19 infection by 94.5%.

COVAXIN, which is India's first indigenous COVID vaccine, is developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Moderna is developing distribution plans with the CDC, the federal government's Operation Warp Speed, and McKesson, a COVID-19 vaccine distributor under contract with the United States government.

"We will need much more data and a full report or publication to see if the benefit is consistent across all groups, notably the elderly, but this is definitely encouraging progress, said Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine". He urged Americans not to let their guard down and to continue washing hands and being vigilant about social distancing.

The company said it plans to apply for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration over "the coming weeks".

The benchmark S&P 500 and the small-cap Russell 2000 ended Friday at record closing highs, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq fell slightly.

It comes amid continued excitement about the results of trials of a vaccine by BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, which showed efficacy rates of 90 per cent. Regulators are expected to begin assessing the jabs later this month, once there is sufficient safety data. Moderna's vaccine can be kept in a freezer that's typically available in doctors' offices and pharmacies, and then can be kept in the refrigerator for 30 days. "The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine's ability to prevent COVID-19", Bourla added following the announcement of the news. There were 11 cases of severe disease in the placebo cohort, as well as 79 infections that manifested in milder symptoms.

Moderna said Monday that it expects to be able to ship about 20 million vaccine doses in the the end of 2020. "So it could start being distributed instantly". To be counted as a COVID-19 case, participants in the Moderna study had to have at least two symptoms of disease in addition to a positive test for the virus. There were no severe cases among people who got the vaccine, compared with 11 in volunteers who received placebo shots, according to Moderna's statement.

"I would expect that shortly - probably next week - we may hear what I hope to be another very good information regarding an efficacious vaccine", Dr. Slaoui said, referring to Moderna's clinical trial. A small percentage of those who received it experienced symptoms such as body aches and headaches.

The company said the analysis did not reveal any significant safety concerns, and the vaccine was generally well tolerated.

"This is really encouraging and it further demonstrates that a vaccine for Covid is a real probability and that having more than one supplier should help assure better and more equitable global availability".