Moderna expects to have an announcement on the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine after it finished accumulating data for a first analysis of the vaccine, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
Moderna is conducting a clinical trial of about 30,000 participants, with half of the participants receiving the vaccine and the other half receiving a placebo, which is a shot of saline that does not seem to have any effect, reported CNN.
In order for the vaccine to be considered for authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), at least 53 study participants needed to become ill with COVID-19.
The trial hit the 53-mark Wednesday, but Moderna doesn't know if the participants who became ill received the vaccine or the placebo. The company is now preparing data to send to the trial's Data and Safety Monitoring Board, an independent panel of experts.
If a statistically significant number of participants received the placebo, that would mean that the vaccine is effective against the virus.
Since cases are rapidly rising in the US, more than 53 participants will become ill with COVID-19 by the time the announcement is made, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading expert on infectious diseases, said on Wednesday that Pfizer's promising outcomes are good news for Moderna as well.
Fauci mentioned that Pfizer's results from the never-before-approved mRNA technology were better than expected.
This came after the coronavirus vaccine developed by drug giant American Pfizer and German biotechnology firm BioNTech was more than 90 per cent effective at protecting people from infection as compared to placebo saline shot, according to an analysis.
This was regarded as a 'historical moment' by Kathrin Jensen, head of vaccine research and development at Pfizer.