The vaccines that could stop Covid-19


When we’ll know if it works: Moderna said on Nov. 16 that its vaccine is 94.5 percent effective among the first 95 trial participants infected with the coronavirus. Sometime in mid- to late-November, the company is expected to submit an emergency use authorization application to the FDA after collecting more safety data.

The European Medicines Agency, Canada’s health agency and the UK and Swiss drug regulators have started reviewing the company’s vaccine data on a rolling basis.

Supply: In a Sept. 18 SEC filing, Moderna said it could produce approximately 20 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the year and between 500 million and one billion doses during 2021.

The U.S. has agreed to purchase 100 million doses for $1.5 billion, with an option to acquire 400 million more. Moderna has also inked deals with Canada, the U.K, the European Union, and Switzerland.

The backstory: It took just 63 days from the time the company started designing its vaccine to launch the first clinical trial, a rapid pace made possible in part by Moderna’s use of genetic material called messenger RNA. When that mRNA is injected into a patient, it directs

cells to make a protein found on the coronavirus — and stimulates the production of antibodies.

No mRNA vaccine for any disease has yet won approval. But the FDA has given Moderna’s shot fast-track designation, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has pledged more than $950 million to accelerate its development.

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