Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), on Monday spoke about the Moderna vaccine, which reported 94.5 per cent effectiveness earlier in the day, and said the news was “quite encouraging,” but cautioned they would still need to see what the final efficacy and safety profile is for the vaccine. She added they hope clinical trials will continue for those currently in progress to see how effective they are.
Dr. Kate O’Brien, with the WHO’s Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, added they will be interested to analyze the delivery characteristics and how easy different vaccines can be delivered.
She said information about requirements for refrigeration provided by Moderna is welcome news as well. According to the company, once thawed, its vaccine can last longer in a refrigerator than originally thought, while Pfizer’s vaccine that was announced to have more than 90 per cent efficacy requires long-term storage at ultra-cold temperatures.