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Moderna Covid vaccine - an mRNA vaccine

The USA has placed their COVID vaccination bets primarily on the 2 mRNA vaccines - Pfizer and Moderna.

Articles of interest.

The USA has relied very heavily on the 2 mRNA vaccines - Pfizer and Moderna.

Anne de Gheest clinical update 16/4/21


I think Israel in this first round of getting its population almost fully vaccinate, relied almost entire (if not entirely) on Pfizer vaccinations.   


  • "Moderna - Making a new kind of vaccine"  27/Apr/21

    • "The Massachusetts-based biotech company led by CEO Stéphane Bancel went from relative obscurity to the Wall Street spotlight when its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, developed with scientists from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, became the first in the U.S. to start human testing last March. The vaccine’s December 2020 greenlight by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—and its subsequent worldwide distribution—vindicates the company’s focus on using mRNA genetic material to teach the human body to fight off COVID-19. Millions have received the shot, and Moderna is ramping up production to meet continued worldwide demand."

The Moderna vaccine order will help but it is not enough.

  • 13/May/21 

  • 13/May/21 Australia snaps up 25m doses of Moderna vaccine (

    • London | The Morrison government has snapped up 25 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, in a surprise boost to the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout. The deal will deliver 10 million doses of Moderna’s standard vaccine this year and 15 million of its booster vaccine candidate next year, the US-based pharmaceutical giant said late on Wednesday (AEST).

    • The news came after the government announced in the budget that it planned to spend an unspecified amount bankrolling the creation of immediate, large-scale manufacturing capability for mRNA drugs in Australia.

    • Moderna’s vaccine is being used extensively in the US, Britain and Europe. It is made in Europe and the US by Swiss company Lonza.

    • Lonza uses lipids from Germany to make the vaccine, which is then filled and finished in Spain and France. Lonza’s US output has an entirely American supply chain. Its combined trans-Atlantic capacity is at least 700 million doses this year and 1.4 billion next year.

    • It is said to be close to 100 per cent effective against hospitalisation and death, and early research suggests it can protect against the British, South African and Brazilian variants.

    • Novavax CEO Stanley Erck this week said raw materials shortages had forced it to delay the process of getting its vaccine out into the market. The company will no longer seek regulatory approval in the US and Britain by the end of June as previously expected, and is instead targeting the third quarter.  

  • "Moderna, Novavax to produce more COVID-19 vaccines in S.Korea"  23/May/2021

    • "Saturday's agreements with the U.S. drugmakers came a day after U.S. President Joe Biden said that he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in had agreed on a comprehensive partnership on COVID-19 vaccines and that the United States would provide vaccinations for 550,000 South Korean soldiers."

    • "Moderna, whose shot was granted approval in South Korea on Friday, said on Saturday its vaccine will be manufactured by Samsung Biologics Co (207940.KS) and that it intends to supply these vaccines to markets outside the United States starting in the third quarter."

    • South Korea has emerged as a global vaccine production base with its fourth COVID-19 vaccine contract manufacturing deal, Vice Health Minister Kang Do-tae told a briefing on Sunday.

    • "We will continue to explore options for establishing potential local manufacturing opportunities in South Korea," Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said in a press release.  10/Aug/21

  • Moderna may be superior to Pfizer against Delta; breakthrough odds rise with time

  • "In a study of more than 50,000 patients in the Mayo Clinic Health System, researchers found the effectiveness of Moderna's vaccine against infection had dropped to 76% in July - when the Delta variant was predominant - from 86% in early 2021. Over the same period, the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had fallen to 42% from 76%, researchers said. While both vaccines remain effective at preventing COVID hospitalization, a Moderna booster shot may be necessary soon for anyone who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines earlier this year, said Dr. Venky Soundararajan of Massachusetts data analytics company nference, who led the Mayo study."  4-Sept-21

  • Staying power: does Moderna’s vaccine have edge on Pfizer?

  • Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine may offer longer-lasting protection than Pfizer’s, new research suggests, as governments and scientists debate who needs booster shots and when. Recent studies show the Moderna jab prompts a stronger immune response than the rival mRNA vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer, and that its effects wane more slowly.

  • Paul Burton, Moderna’s chief medical officer, said a stream of “extremely reassuring” studies in the past few weeks showed Moderna’s shot had “long-lived” efficacy, stood up to the Delta variant and could even help people with compromised immune systems.

  • Research published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Belgian healthcare workers given the Moderna jab had more than double the number of antibodies two months after their second dose than those receiving Pfizer’s.       Higher antibody levels soon after vaccination should lead to longer-term protection and greater resistance to Covid variants, according to Deborah Steensels, one of the study’s authors. While the scientists were only able to count all antibodies, not the gold standard neutralising antibodies, she said the correlation was strong enough to bolster the theory.

  • Another study this week from the University of Virginia found recipients of the Moderna jab had more antibodies than those given Pfizer’s, with the difference more marked in older people.

  • The findings echo those of a draft paper last month by University of Toronto researchers assessing immune responses among long-term care facility residents. Some scientists suggest the Moderna jab could last longer because its dose of mRNA — the genetic code that teaches the immune system how to recognise the coronavirus’s spike protein — is three times higher than Pfizer’s.

  • Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, said Covid vaccines all appeared to be more effective in countries with longer gaps — such as the UK and Canada — than in the US and Israel, which stuck to the schedule from the jabs’ phase 3 trials. “I think the rush to get the trials done . . . has accentuated the waning,” he said.

  • The antibody studies lend weight to other yet to be peer-reviewed “preprint” papers that show more breakthrough infections among people vaccinated with Pfizer’s jab than with Moderna’s.

  • The pattern is backed up by data published last week from the Zoe symptom study app. Pfizer’s efficacy fell 14 percentage points to 74 per cent in five to six months, while AstraZeneca’s fell 10 per percentage points to 67 per cent after four or five months. Scientists say this could be because the adenovirus that delivers the Oxford vaccine endures in the body for longer than mRNA, giving the immune system more time to respond. Johnson & Johnson, which also uses an adenovirus, said neutralising antibodies in people given its single-shot jab were actually higher eight months after vaccination than 29 days after.

  • But he cautioned that we did not yet have the hard evidence to differentiate between vaccines, with the crucial data coming in the next six months.

  • Moderna and Pfizer’s plans for boosters are still moving in lockstep, with both companies developing vaccines tailored to the Delta variant, in case they become necessary, and submitting data on a third dose to the US Food and Drug Administration in recent weeks.  Third jabs enhance antibody levels. Pfizer said people given a booster at least six months after the second dose had 5 to 10 times more antibodies than after the initial two doses. Moderna submitted its data on Wednesday, saying an extra half dose of its vaccine, which still has more mRNA than Pfizer’s, resulted in antibody levels “significantly above” what had been found in the initial trial and held up to variants including Delta

Yet more evidence that Moderna may be the best vaccine.

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