The Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective against coronavirus, according to early data released Monday by the company.
Moderna heard its results on a call Sunday afternoon with members of the Data Safety and Monitoring Board, an independent panel analyzing Moderna’s clinical trial data.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, also a former executive at Eli Lilly, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that Monday is a historic day.
“It’s been 10 months since this virus hit our shore and we’ve got a second 90% plus vaccine for the American people,” said Azar. “We hope to have enough by the end of December to vaccinate 20 million of our most vulnerable citizens.”
Last Monday, executives at Pfizer said their coronavirus vaccine is proving more than 90% effective in late-stage clinical trials. One of the scientists who helped create Pfizer’s vaccine says it could return the world to normal life by next winter. Azar has a rough sketch of who would get the vaccine first.
“We’re going to follow the guidance of the CDC and they’ll look at senior citizens in nursing homes, healthcare workers, etc. It will be wherever it’s going to add the most value according to the data, the science, and the recommendations of our experts,” said Azar.
Azar said states will have the “funding that’s needed” but some of the states are operating under a “misconception.”
“They don’t actually touch the vaccine. This all goes through private distribution channels, goes to the CVS’, Walgreens, pharmacies, health centers, hospitals. We’re having a call with our governors later this afternoon (Monday) and the Vice President. We’ll get them whatever they need. We’re going to make sure this is a good distribution process for these historic vaccines,” said Azar.
Azar added that the government would be willing to work with President-elect Joe Biden when it’s “appropriate,” but said that as of now the General Services Administration hasn’t certified Biden as the winner of the election.
He also said having vaccines with a 90% effectiveness is almost unheard of.
“In public health, we do not get a vaccine with 90% effectiveness often, but here we have two of them with that kind of efficacy and clean safety protocols,” said Azar.
In Indiana, more than 4,600 Hoosiers have died from coronavirus.