Dutch-supported Covid vaccine 94.5% effective; "Rolling review" started
A vaccine against Covid-19 developed by Moderna is 94.5 percent effective, the pharmaceutical company said based on interim results on Monday. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) started a "rolling review" for the vaccine, NOS reports.
Normally, pharmaceuticals only submit the results of their vaccine trials to the authorities for review once all their trials are done. Due to the current exceptional circumstances, the authorities are giving vaccines a "rolling review", in which pharmaceuticals submit interim results. The requirements that vaccines must meet do not change, but authorities can start forming an opinion sooner.
"An assessment outside corona time can take 18 months. How long it will take with this procedure depends on the quality of the research data and whether we have additional questions," a spokesperson for the Dutch medical evaluation board CBG said to NOS. "Earlier this year, the virus inhibitor Remdisivir had an accelerated evaluation, which the EMA was able to do in four weeks."
The Moderna vaccine is one of six that the Netherlands helped negotiate for on behalf of the European Union. The EU agreed to buy 80 million doses of the vaccine, with the option to scale up to 160 million doses. The Netherlands is entitled to 3.89 percent of those vaccines. If the EMA approves the vaccine, the European Commission can grant a license for it.
The Moderna vaccine, mRNA-1273, works on the basic principle that a RNA molecule is used as a messenger, which prompts the body to produce its own active ingredients to fight various diseases, Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health said in a letter to parliament in September. The vaccine is now in phase 3 of its trials, the phase in which it is determined whether the vaccine actually protects people against Covid-19. A total of 30 thousand people are participating in this trial, half of whom will get two doses of mRNA-1273, the other half will get two placebos.
The EMA previously announced rolling reviews for two other vaccines that the Netherlands will also get a share of - the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford, and the one developed by Pfizer and BioNtech. Pfizer last week announced that its vaccine is 90 percent effective, based on interim results.