Moderna Vax Shows “Promising” Immune Response

The New York Times reports:

An experimental coronavirus vaccine made by the biotech company Moderna provoked a promising immune response against the virus and appeared safe in the first 45 people who received it, researchers reported on Tuesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Moderna’s vaccine, developed with researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was the first coronavirus vaccine to be tested in humans, and the company announced on Tuesday that large Phase 3 tests of it would begin on July 27, involving 30,000 people. Half of the participants will be a control group who will receive placebos.

This large clinical trial is expected to be completed by late October. But it’s not clear whether it will be possible to prove the vaccine is safe and effective by then. The trial will need to show that those who were vaccinated were significantly less likely to contract the virus than those who got a placebo.

The New York Daily News reports:

In the study, none of the 45 participants experienced severe reactions, but more than half reported minor side effects at the site of injection, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The side effects usually lasted just a day or so after injection.

“Small price to pay for protection against COVID,” Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a vaccine expert who wasn’t involved with the study, told the Associated Press.

The trial now includes 120 participants, but the new findings cover its first 45 participants, all between the ages of 18 and 55. The promising late Tuesday news sent Moderna stock soaring by more than 17% early in after-hours trading.