A NEW vaccine against Covid-19 has been found to be almost 95% effective according to initial data published by its manufacturer, Moderna.
Interim data published by the US firm indicates that not only is the vaccine highly effective at preventing people from getting the virus but is also effective across all age groups including, crucially, the elderly.
Scientists at Moderna have heralded the results as “tremendously exciting” with the vaccine found to be exactly 94.5% effective.
The vaccine was also found to be more stable than previously predicted, meaning it can be stored and distributed using ordinary refrigerators – the kind used in most cold-chain shipping setups.
Moderna’s vaccine is capable of remaining stable for up to six months at temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius (-4 F).
However, it also remained stable when stored at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius for a maximum of 30 days.
This is a significant increase on the initial projection of 7 days.
The vaccine is set to be distributed in 10-dose vials.
Tests found it can be kept at room temperature for up to 12 hours.
While further tests are required, Moderna’s initial results will come as welcome news in America.
The US government previously penned a $1.5billion deal for 100 million doses of their vaccine back in August.
It also bodes well for other Covid-19 vaccines, including the Irish-led effort being developed by scientists at Oxford University.
The Oxford researchers are expected to report back with findings from its own vaccine trials in the coming days.
Meanwhile Moderna is set to submit an application for an Emergency Use Authorisation with the US Food and Drug Administration.
They are also planning on submitting further data on the vaccine's effectiveness and safety.
Once given the green light, the vaccine will be distributed by the U.S. government's Operation Warp Speed program with healthcare workers, nursing home residents, first responders and the vulnerable set to be among the first to receive it.
News of the vaccine comes hot on the heels of similarly positive results from Pfizer with Ireland set to receive two million doses of the new drug.