SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The biotechnology company Moderna announced Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine could be up to 94.5% effective.
The company is sponsoring multiple clinical trials across the country, including one right here in Savannah.
“94.5 percent effective…that’s beyond our wildest dreams,” said Dr. Paul Bradley with Meridian Clinical Research.
Bradley is in charge of Savannah’s vaccine trial. He says while nothing is set in stone yet, he’s basking in the moment.
“I mean this started literally a few months ago and ordinarily trials like this would take many years,” said Bradley. “But it’s been incredibly organized and in a tremendous scale, people have been lined up.”
News of their achievement comes just one week after Pfizer announced its vaccine could be up to 90% effective.
Bradley says millions of people across the globe will need to be immunized, meaning Moderna can’t do it alone.
“There’s a race to see who can be first, but I don’t think anyone is going to be able to produce enough doses that there’s not going to be a need that exceeds their ability,” said Bradley.
COVID-19 cases in Chatham County are now topping 10,000 and nearly 200 people have died. Bradley knows they have to work quickly, but he says never at the cost of safety.
“We’ve seen no safety concerns, we’ve done vaccine trials for a long time and usually if you are going to see them, ” he said, “you see them early on but they’ve had no serious adverse events and the amazing news today is it worked.”
The company says it plans to apply for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks. Bradley says its likely the vaccine won’t be widely available until spring.
“The government really did, in this case, facilitate it they did everything they could do to make it happen, and happen quickly,” said Bradley.
In a press release the company’s CEO made this statement:
“While we continue to collect data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in the COVE study. We remain committed to and focused on doing our part to help end the COVID-19 pandemic.”