UofL medical expert reacts to news of Moderna’s ‘remarkable’ vaccine

UofL medical expert reacts to news of Moderna’s ‘remarkable’ vaccine

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Medical experts say there is a new ray of hope in the race to get control of the coronavirus.

Pharmaceutical company Moderna announced Monday it has a vaccine that is highly effective against the virus.

Pharmaceutical company Moderna. announcing its coronavirus vaccine is about 94.5% effective.

“I am very happy that our vaccine has been able to demonstrate very strong immunogenicity across all age groups so we don’t lose potency,” Moderna Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks told NBC News.

Moderna officials said the news brings hope that a vaccine could stop the pandemic and hopefully get people back to their normal lives.

“The 94.5 percent vaccine effectiveness rate is truly remarkable in any vaccine,” Dr. Jon Klein, Vice Dean of Research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine said. “The comparison I would like people to use is that it’s similar to what we have seen in measles vaccine that we all know and trust to give to our children.”

Moderna’s vaccine comes out after Pfizer announced its vaccine was about 90 percent effective a few weeks ago. Klein took part in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial. He said his side effects were minimal and very tolerable. He said he wants people to know they shouldn’t get caught up over one being better than the other.

“This idea that there is a competitive advantage of Moderna over Pfizer ... I’m trying to make people understand that we don’t have that luxury that Moderna is the one," Klein said.

Klein also said the first people to receive the vaccine should start as soon as it’s approved, which would be early December, going to healthcare workers at the highest risk of contracting the virus. The big difference between the two vaccines, Klein said, is that Moderna’s vaccine does not need to be kept refrigerated; incredibly low temperatures could help with the distribution and shipping of its vaccine.

“Both Pfizer and Moderna only have about enough vaccine right away to begin immunizing 12.5 million people out of 330 million in the country,” Klein said. “I think we will be using both.”

Both vaccines require people to get two shots several weeks apart.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.