Moderna said Monday that early data show its coronavirus vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective in preventing infection — the second major drugmaker in as many weeks to tout a potential vaccine with an efficacy rate over 90%.
The company plans to apply to the Food and Drug Administration for approval of its vaccine after more safety data has been collected, CNN reported.
Moderna’s trials consisted of 15,000 study participants who were given a placebo, which is a shot of saline that has no effect. Over several months, 90 of those participants got the coronavirus.
Another 15,000 participants were given the vaccine, and five of them developed COVID-19, CNN reported. Among the placebo group, 11 became seriously ill, but none of the participants who received the vaccine became severely ill.
Moderna’s announcement comes after Pfizer, another one of several companies working on a vaccine, said last week that its vaccine candidate has an efficiency rate of more than 90%, calling it the “greatest medical advance in the last 100 years.”
As of Monday, the U.S. has approximately 11.1 million coronavirus cases and 247,000 related deaths — both tops globally — according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.