Moderna, an American biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, enrolled 30,000 participants in their COVE Phase 3 Study. 26,654 have received their second vaccination.
The study tested the effectiveness of Moderna’s mRNA-1273 Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.
In Chattanooga, the vaccine was tested at ClinSearch on Shallowford Road.
Moderna claims its vaccine is 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from their ongoing study. Pfizer’s vaccine claimed a 90% effectiveness.
Both companies are currently gathering the two months of safety data need for emergency approval from the FDA along with additional assessment provided by other independent advisory groups, like VRBPAC.
Pfizer has stated they expect their safety data to be available this week and Moderna expects to file for FDA approval in two more weeks.
News Channel 9 reports that both companies are affiliated with the United States Government’s “Operation Warp Speed,” a public–private partnership to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
Dr. Davey Smith of Chattanooga and Chief of Infectious Diseases at UC San Diego, has been working with Operation Warp Speed to help find a drug that will keep high risk COVID-19 patients out of the hospital.
“The Moderna is very similar to the Pfizer vaccine,” Smith said. “Some of these vaccines will show up in your doctor’s offices, your pharmacies, etc.” said Smith.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations will require two doses of the vaccine per patient.
For Pfizer, injections will be 21 days apart. For Moderna, 28 days.
Moderna’s vaccine appears to be better suited for distribution to areas with intense heat and spotty electricity, with a shelf life of six months in a regular freezer and up to 30 days in a refrigerator.
For comparison, Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored at temperatures of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
“That particular necessity of keeping that cold will require special conditions to deliver it to all those different places like doctor’s offices and pharmacies,” Smith said.
“The logistics of distributing the Pfizer vaccine, if proven to be safe and effective, will no doubt be a Herculean task,” Andrew Peterson, assistant professor of philosophy at George Mason University, previously told Fox News.
“Beyond the challenge of physically transporting the vaccine by air and land to distribution centers across America and internationally, there are the additional obstacles of keeping the vaccine at sub-zero temperatures and monitoring deliveries for theft,” said Peterson.
COVID-19 case numbers are reportedly higher now than they have ever been. John Hopkins University reported 1 million new cases nationwide in just a week’s time.
The Hamilton County Health Department reported almost 1 thousand new cases in just a week.
This brings Hamilton County’s total number of cases to 14,948 with 123 deaths.
The highest concentration of COVID-19 cases in Hamilton County are in area codes 37343, 37421 and 37363.
Doctor Smith expressed concerns that the vaccines will not be ready in time to combat the expected increase in number of cases due to the Holidays.
“Those people who get infected over the holidays, many of those won’t live to get to see the vaccine.”
“I don’t think that vaccines are going to save us all anytime soon. I think that treatments are being overlooked. If people become infected, they should really look for treatment trials because that is what’s going to get us out of this pandemic quicker,” Smith stated.