Two days ago, Bio-Tech Company Moderna Inc. The interim results of a coronavirus experimental vaccine study have been published. They claim that their product is effective in preventing coronavirus infection. Under the current pandemic, this novelty is a kind of light at the end of the tunnel. Nevertheless, experts still warn us that difficult times lie ahead.
This is the second good news about vaccines in recent days. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said a week ago that its vaccine is highly effective. Currently, dozens of other vaccines are waiting their turn around the world.
The most correct facts are cautiously optimistic assessments. Both companies, Pfizer and Moderna, are in the final stages of clinical trials and thousands of volunteers are involved. The data published by the companies is only intermediate and it does not answer such basic questions as: How long will the protection against infection be maintained? The search for an answer to this question became especially urgent after the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, moved to self-isolation after contact with COVID-19. The latter contracted the disease in April, which is why he was even in resuscitation.
“It’s not uncommon, but we sporadically see cases of re-infection in humans and we do not know if these are exceptions or common cases,” said Michael Kinch, director of the Innovative Research Center for Biotechnology and Drug Detection at the University of Washington.
Manufacturing a dual vaccine and delivering it to millions of people is a logistical challenge. In addition, the Pfizer vaccine should be stored at a very low temperature.
When will people be vaccinated?
Both companies plan to complete the clinical trial and deliver the results to the regulator in the coming weeks, which will be a prerequisite for their use in an emergency. By the end of the year, both of them plan to make millions of vaccines and ship them worldwide. However, most experts believe that this will only be enough for health workers, nursing home beneficiaries, and those with chronic illnesses.
The company currently claims that their vaccine maintains stability at refrigeration temperatures (2 ° C – 8 ° C) for 30 days. This is much longer than the 7 days they expected. In the frozen state (-20 ° C) the vaccine can be stable for up to 6 months. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at a very low temperature of -80 ° C before use. This raises questions about the freezers needed for millions of doses to be shipped worldwide.
Thus, Moderna’s novelty has a great deal of construction, believes Karen Tashima, director of clinical research at Miriam Hospital Immunology Center.
“We do not want the vaccine to spoil if it stays in the refrigerator for 8 days. We do not want to throw it away. We now have 30 days. Because of this, people will feel much better,” Tashima said optimistically.