The COVID-19 pandemic emerged as a Hollywood disaster movie playing out in real life.
Anyone who saw early footage of healthy adults on ventilators will recall the shock and distress of seeing how this virus was taking over the world.
However, the commitment and ingenuity of scientists around the world provided a glimmer of light. Before the virus was even declared a pandemic, these bright minds began work on a vaccine, including the Moderna vaccine.
Since December 2020, countries worldwide have started vaccinating people against COVID-19 in the hope of fighting this virus and returning us to a life of normality.
Here are ten amazing facts you need to know about the Moderna vaccine and its role in protecting the world against COVID-19.
1. The Moderna Vaccine Is 94% Effective
During phase 3 randomized clinical trials of the Moderna vaccine, scientists studied 28,000 volunteers aged 18 and over. They gave half the participants the Moderna COVID vaccine and the other half a placebo.
Following both jabs, the Moderna team reviewed participants 9 weeks after the second dose. The effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine trial was 94.1%.
The trial excluded those who had a previous known COVID-19 infection and also excluded immunocompromised subjects.
2. Moderna Is Administered via Two Injections
As with all COVID-19 vaccinations, Moderna is administered via an injection to the muscle of the upper arm.
For the vaccine to work correctly, a patient must have two injections. The World Health Organisation recommends that these doses are spaced 28 days apart, although patients can wait up to 42 days.
Some countries, for example, the United Kingdom, have chosen to space out these two vaccines beyond the 42 days, and they are still gathering data on the effectiveness of this approach.
3. The Moderna Vaccine Uses mRNA
mRNA is short for Messenger RNA. mRNA vaccines have been around for almost three decades and are used for other illnesses such as influenza.
In simplistic terms, mRNA is like a messenger that goes into the body to tell the body how to defend itself against the COVID-19 virus.
It goes into the cell that is used by the body to make protein. It then instructs the cell on what proteins the body needs to make as a defense against COVID-19.
Not all COVID vaccines use this method, but it is the design used for both the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech. Here, Kenneth Chien talks about the importance of mRNA in the fight against COVID-19.
4. Moderna Has Known Side Effects
Due to the large population numbers that have already taken the Moderna vaccine, we know a lot about the common side effects after the first or second jab.
The most common side effect is a sore arm around the jab site. In addition to pain, a person may also experience swelling and, in rare cases, a red rash.
Some people also experience common COVID or flu-like symptoms after the Moderna jab. This might include tiredness and fatigue, a high temperature, chills, or body aches.
Talk to your doctor about specific medicines and remedies you can take to reduce the side effects of the jab.
5. Moderna Was One of the First Approved Vaccines
The American FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved Moderna as a vaccination for the general public on 17th December 2020.
This happened soon after PfizerBioNTech became the first vaccine in the world to be used on a member of the public, 91-year-old Margaret Keenan, in the UK.
In Europe, the EU approved Moderna on 6th January by the EMA (European Medicines Agency). The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) gave Moderna vaccine approval on 8th January in the UK.
6. Scientists Created Moderna in Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Moderna mRNA vaccine was created by the biotechnology company Moderna in 2020 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
In March 2020, as COVID-19 became a WHO-classified pandemic, the White House met with scientists and executives from Moderna to discuss possible vaccines.
Moderna believed that they could get a vaccine ready for testing in a matter of months. Phase 1 trials began in the summer of 2020, with results published in The New England Journal of Medicine in July 2020.
7. Real-World Results Still Show 90% Efficacy
In the USA, early in 2021, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) studied real-world data into how effective the Moderna vaccine was for the general population. This is in comparison to the phase 3 controlled tests.
This study, carried out on over 4000 vaccinated members of the public, showed that the jab was around 90% effective in preventing people from getting infected with COVID-19.
8. Moderna Is Effective Against the Delta Variant
The Delta variant that first originated in India is now the predominant COVID-19 variant in many countries, including America.
This variant is more transmissible than the initial COVID-19 virus. Some scientists and government officials have expressed concern that it might be able to break through the vaccinations.
However, Moderna has carried out some studies into the variant. Their early results have demonstrated that the vaccine is still protective against the Delta COVID-19 virus.
9. Moderna Is Not Currently Approved for Children
At the current time of writing, the Moderna vaccine has not been approved by medicine authorities worldwide for use in minors (under 18 years).
However, the Pfizer vaccine has been successfully trialed and rolled out for children aged 12 and above. And Moderna is currently testing the vaccine in children under the age of 12.
10. Moderna Is Joining the Global Fight Against COVID-19
The success of the Moderna vaccine has gained the confidence of countries around the globe.
According to the New York Times COVID-19 tracker, Moderna is being rolled out in 56 countries around the world.
So Moderna is playing an essential part in the fight against COVID-19. It is protecting hundreds of millions of people Worldwide from this deadly infection.
Hope During Our Darkest Times
In 2020, as COVID gripped healthcare systems, the world ground to a halt, and billions of people opted to stay inside to protect the most vulnerable. But scientists headed to their labs to find a solution.
The Moderna vaccine is a true example of human triumph in the face of the most challenging adversity.
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