With the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine candidates in their final stages of development before being manufactured far and wide, scientists and public health experts have come to note burgeoning success that has opened up new, exciting frontiers in vaccine research.
A recent study in the United States of America (USA) has now highlighted promising developments for Moderna's COVID-19 shot, one of the forerunners in the vaccine race against the deadly pandemic. The study, conducted by the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has found that the Moderna vaccine could potentially remain effective in the human body for at least three months.
According to reports, researchers at the NIAID say that Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273, caused the human immune system to produce potent antibodies that endure for at least three months.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, examined the immune response in 34 healthy adult volunteers during the first-phase of the human clinical trials and came to the aforementioned conclusion.
The participants of the study were divided into three groups — ages 18-55, ages 56-70, and ages above 71. All of them received a two-dose regimen of the mRNA-1273 vaccine 28 days apart.
Reports elaborate that the vaccine produced "high levels of binding and neutralising antibodies at the 100μg dose" 119 days after the first dose and 90 days after the second dose.
In other words, these antibodies, equipped to fight the coronavirus infection, remained active in the subject's bodies even as long as three months after the initial vaccine dosage.
Although the Moderna vaccine was reported to have produced more antibodies in younger patients than in older patients, "reasonably strong immune response" was noticed even in patients up to 70 years of age.
Meanwhile, US-based drugmaker Moderna has said that it expects to have between 100 million and 125 million doses of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine available globally in the first quarter of 2021.
Out of these, about 85-100 million doses will be made available in the US and 15-25 million doses will be available outside of the US, the company said on Thursday.
The development comes after the company's November 30 announcement that the primary efficacy analysis of the Phase 3 study of the "mRNA-1273" vaccine showed the efficacy of 94.1 per cent.
On November 30, Moderna submitted a request for an emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and conditional approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Apart from Moderna, drug makers Pfizer and BioNTech also applied for emergency authorisation of their Covid-19 vaccine from the US FDA.