The first covid-19 vaccine developed as part of Operation Warp Speed will likely be cleared for emergency use this week in the United States after a full-day meeting of federal medical advisers today, 17 December.
The shot, called mRNA-1273, was developed by biotechnology company Moderna, and the United States is relying heavily on it to meet the U.S. government’s schedule of vaccinate most of the population by June.
The vaccine, which contains an extract of the genetic code of the coronavirus, is based on a new approach that uses an injection of messenger RNA encapsulated in fatty particles. A similar vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, was cleared last week, but the US has only gotten 100 million doses. Supplies are limited as the world is crying out for the blow.
While Pfizer worked independently, Moderna received billions of dollars in funding from the United States and worked closely with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, making its vaccine the first success of Operation Warp Speed. , the administration’s moonshot program to end the pandemic.
In one large clinical trial executed in the United States, the Moderna shot performed exceptionally well, exceeding all expectations. After two doses, the efficacy against covid-19 was 94%. A few people who received the vaccine as part of the trial were still infected, but none developed a serious case of covid-19.
Earlier this week, MIT Technology Review spoke with Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel about his mindset as his company’s product nears approval.
The United States relies heavily on Moderna’s fire to restore the economy and everyday life. On December 14, the Trump administration exercised an option to purchase 100 million additional doses, bringing the total that Moderna has pledged to 200 million. So far, however, there are only enough products to immunize a few million people.