Moderna will know if COVID-19 vaccine is effective in November, CEO says

Katie Adams - Print  | 

Moderna could know if its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective within a few weeks, according to a Sept. 17 report from The Boston Globe.

The country's declining infection rate makes it more difficult for drugmakers to gather a sufficient number of infected late-stage trial participants to determine if the vaccine is more effective than a placebo. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told The Boston Globe this trend has slightly decelerated the drugmaker's vaccine timeline.

"The infection rate has slowed down the last two weeks, which is great for the country, but the readout in October becomes less and less probable,” he told The Boston Globe. "We’ve said November."' 

Moderna's phase 3 trial has enrolled 25,296 participants, about 84 percent of its 30,000 goal. About 28 percent of participants are people of color, as the pandemic's disproportionate toll on Black and Latinx Americans makes demographic representation in clinical trials a critical factor for drugmakers to take into account.

There is also a "good chance" Pfizer will know if its vaccine is safe and effective by the end of October, CEO Albert Bourla said earlier this week. The drugmaker said it will expand the number of phase 3 trial participants from 30,000 to 44,000, aiming to increase demographic diversity.  

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