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Moderna could begin analysing COVID-19 vaccine data within days, says Fauci

Moderna could begin analysing COVID-19 vaccine data within days, says Fauci

Tens of thousands of volunteers are participating in Phase 3 clinical trials for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. (Photo: AFP)

NEW YORK: Moderna Inc could have data from a large trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine anywhere between "a couple of days" to "a little more than a week", the top US infectious disease expert said on Wednesday (Nov 11).

A high degree of effectiveness for the vaccine would make sense as it was "almost identical" to the Pfizer shot, Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a conference organised by the Financial Times.

"It may not be 95 per cent, it might be 90 per cent, or 96 per cent, or 89 per cent, but it is going to be up there," he said.

Hopes of the world soon getting an effective vaccine against the virus that has killed over a million people were raised on Monday after Pfizer said its COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective based on interim trial results.

READ: Temasek-led investor group in US$250 million vaccine bet on BioNTech

Moderna, which uses a technology similar to Pfizer's, said earlier on Wednesday that its November timeline for initial data was on track.

It did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on when it would disclose the data, though the company has said it would publish the data as soon as it is available.

The company would still have to wait for two-month follow up data on safety, which is expected in the second half of this month, before applying for US emergency use authorisation.

Earlier in the day, Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said at a Credit Suisse conference the world would have to wait for more data to understand whether the use of a particular vaccine would be more widespread.

There are no vaccines that have gained global approval yet, although a handful, including Moderna's, are in late-stage studies.

Moderna's shares were up roughly 7 per cent at US$81.25 in afternoon trading.

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Source: Reuters/zl/ec

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