Coronavirus: Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine 93% effective for up to 6 months

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is 93% effective for up to six months after a patient receives the second dose, the company said.

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CEO Stéphane Bancel shared the news about the vaccine, which had an initial efficacy of 94%, in a press release Thursday morning.

“We are pleased that our COVID-19 vaccine is showing durable efficacy of 93% through six months, but recognize that the delta variant is a significant new threat, so we must remain vigilant,” Bancel said in a statement.

The company added that it has “initiated the rolling submission process” for full approval of its two-dose mRNA coronavirus vaccine in the United States and expects to complete the submission this month. The Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine for emergency use in adults last December.

According to the news release, researchers also have observed “robust antibody responses ... from existing Moderna booster candidates against COVID-19 in Phase 2 studies.”

>> Read Moderna’s complete press release here

The news came just days after The New York Times reported that the FDA hopes to fully approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine by early September. Pfizer and BioNTech recently said the efficacy for their mRNA vaccine, which has been approved for emergency use in people ages 12 and up, dropped from 96% to about 84% after six months, according to Reuters.

>> Coronavirus: FDA aims to give final OK to Pfizer vaccine by next month, report says

In July, Pfizer announced that it would seek approval to go forward with booster shots for those who have received two doses of its COVID-19 vaccine; however, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a joint statement saying Americans who have been fully vaccinated “do not need a booster shot at this time.”

“FDA, CDC and [the National Institutes of Health] are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary,” the agencies said July 8.

The U.S. is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases, especially in Southern states such as Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama, according to the Times. As of Wednesday, the nation was averaging over 96,000 new cases per day – an increase of 131% in two weeks, the newspaper reported.

About 70.2% of American adults have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the CDC.

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