The world-leading Moderna vaccine can reduce COVID-19 infection rates just eight days after the first dose, a new study shows.
The encouraging results provide this week’s second hit of good news for Australians, after Novavax Inc reported promising late-stage clinical trial data showing its vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective against COVID-19.
Should the vaccines receive approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Moderna will supply Australia 25 million doses and Novavax will supply 51 million doses from late 2021.
Now, a new peer-reviewed study, led by American researchers in Boston, Massachusetts, found the Moderna coronavirus vaccine can start reducing infection rates after eight days.
As part of their study, published in JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, the scientists monitored the vaccine rollout for healthcare workers in Boston.
That’s where vaccinations started during an early winter surge of COVID cases.
Across the 42-day study, which started on the day vaccines were made available, the researchers found the vaccine was at least 50.3 per cent effective across the entire period.
As the days went by, the results improved.
From the eighth day onwards, the Moderna vaccine was 77.5 per cent effective against the virus, and from day 15 until the end of the study it was 95 per cent effective.
The results are great news for Australians, given the Morrison government is relying on Moderna to help speed up our lagging national rollout.
Under new changes, announced by federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on Monday, 1000 pharmacies and an extra 850 rural and regional clinics will be able to start offering Moderna doses from October.
That all depends on TGA approval, and whether Moderna will follow through on its promise to deliver 25 million doses.