The United States’ top infectious disease official on Monday hailed early results from Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine as “stunningly impressive,” calling the result a validation for experimental mRNA technology that some had doubted.
“I had said, and I must admit, that I would have been satisfied with 70, or at the most 75 percent efficacy,” he told AFP.
“The idea that we have a 94.5 percent effective vaccine is stunningly impressive. It is really a spectacular result that I don’t think anybody had anticipated would be this good.”
The physician-scientist leads the National Institutes of Health’s National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which began co-developing the vaccine in January, shortly after Chinese authorities disclosed the genetic sequence of the new coronavirus.
The vaccine is based on a new technology that uses a synthetic version of a molecule called “messenger RNA” to hack into human cells, and effectively turn them into vaccine-making factories.