Moderna says it can start analyzing how well its COVID-19 vaccine works
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Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall-Genzer has the news. The following is an edited transcript of her conversation with “Marketplace Morning Report” host David Brancaccio.
Nancy Marshall-Genzer: You have to have a certain number of infections before you can determine if a vaccine is effective. In Moderna’s vaccine trial, half of the 30,000 participants got the vaccine. The other half got a placebo. Moderna says around 50 of the volunteers have now gotten COVID-19. So, now it will analyze how many of them received the vaccine versus the placebo.
David Brancaccio: And what kind of vaccine is this one?
Marshall-Genzer: It’s the same type Pfizer is making. They’re not like a typical vaccine, which involves injecting inactivated virus into a patient. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA. The vaccine prompts the body to produce COVID-19’s spike protein. A person’s immune system then learns to attack and destroy it.
Brancaccio: OK, so apparent progress, but distribution is a big hurdle.
Marshall-Genzer: That could be a challenge, at least in developing countries. These vaccines need to be kept very cold, below freezing. That’s not such a problem in the U.S., but could be difficult in other nations. Moderna has already agreed to supply 100 million doses to the U.S.
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