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COVID-19

Second vaccine appears successful in early trials

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A second COVID-19 vaccine is showing good results in early testing.

Pharmaceutical company Moderna announced Monday that preliminary data shows its vaccine, which is similar to the one Pfizer announced a week ago, appears to be 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection.

Moderna’s trial included 30,000 participants, half of whom received the vaccine and half who received a placebo.

Both companies are on track to request use of their vaccines on an emergency basis from the Food and Drug Administration. Both require two shots about a month apart, but Moderna’s vaccine appears to be more stable at higher temperatures, which could make it easier to store and distribute.

“That should give us all hope that actually a vaccine is going to be able to stop this pandemic and hopefully get us back to our lives,” Dr. Stephen Hoge, Moderna’s president, told The Associated Press.

Moderna says it can have up to 20 million doses in the U.S. this year and up to billion doses worldwide in 2021.

If the FDA grants emergency use authorization to one or both companies in the next few weeks, vaccines could start to be distributed to high-risk groups in the U.S., such as health care workers and the elderly, as early as next month.

A vaccine probably won’t be available to the general public until spring of next year.

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