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Fauci predicts data from Moderna COVID-19 vaccine within a week

Fauci predicts data from Moderna COVID-19 vaccine within a week
© Washington Examiner/Pool

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci: 'Very nice' that Trump told people to get vaccinated at CPAC Neanderthal museum weighs in on Biden mask comments Abbott defends scrapping mask mandate: It 'isn't going to make that big of a change' MORE expressed confidence Wednesday that positive data from Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine will be announced in the next few days.

According to the Financial Times, which hosted the top infectious disease expert at a conference, Moderna will begin assessing data from its phase three vaccine trials “within a week."

“We were told that literally in the next few days to a week they’ll be doing the same thing of looking at the data as the Pfizer people did a week ago,” Fauci said.

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Pfizer and partner BioNTech announced Monday that the initial results from their phase three trial showed their coronavirus vaccine was far more effective than expected, with recipients experiencing more than 90 percent fewer cases of symptomatic COVID-19 than those who received a placebo. 

While the data have yet to be released or published in a peer-reviewed journal, Fauci this week has expressed optimism that the apparent early success will also translate to Moderna.

The vaccine being developed by Moderna is similar to Pfizer's because it is made using messenger-RNA technology, meaning it uses genetic material to cause the body to create a protein, which then causes an immune response.

Pfizer and BioNTech cannot immediately apply for emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because agency guidance requires them to collect two months worth of safety data from at least half the patients in the trial, which will be by the third week of November.

Moderna's vaccine is being developed in concert with Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and with nearly $1 billion worth of funding from the federal government.

The Trump administration has an additional deal to pay Moderna $1.5 billion for distribution of 100 million doses.

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Moderna on Wednesday said it had submitted trial data to the independent board monitoring its trial, a sign that results could be announced shortly.

Similar to Pfizer, Moderna said the rapid spread of COVID-19 means it has been able to collect data quickly. The company said it expects this first interim analysis to include "substantially more than 53 cases," which was the targeted trigger point for the analysis.

Pfizer and the FDA decided to conduct the interim analysis after 62 cases of COVID-19 had been found among trial participants, but they ended up with 94. This means that the statistical strength of the result is likely far stronger than initially expected.