Oh, we love hearing good news.
Courtesy of WaPo:
Biotechnology firm Moderna announced Monday that a preliminary analysis shows its experimental coronavirus vaccine is nearly 95 percent effective at preventing illness, including severe cases — a striking initial result that leaves the United States with the prospect that two coronavirus vaccines could be available on a limited basis by the end of the year.
The news comes a week after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech lifted the stock market and people’s hopes with the news that their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90 percent effective.
“It’s extremely good news. If you look at the data, the numbers speak for themselves,” said Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who was one of three people briefed on the data by an independent committee Sunday morning. “I describe myself as a realist, but I’m fundamentally a cautious optimist. I felt we’d likely get something less than this. … I said certainly a 90-plus-percent effective vaccine is possible, but I wasn’t counting on it.”
Moderna’s vaccine, co-developed with Fauci’s institute, is being tested in 30,000 people. Half received two doses of the vaccine, and half received a placebo. To test how well the vaccine works, physicians closely monitored cases of covid-19 to see whether they predominantly occurred in people who received the placebo group.
Of the 95 cases of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, 90 were in the group that received the placebo. There were 11 severe cases reported — all in people who received the placebo. With cases of covid-19 confined almost exclusively to trial participants receiving a placebo, that sends a strong signal that the vaccine is effective at thwarting the virus.
How much would it suck to be one of the volunteers who received the placebo, and then get Corvid-19 all while believing you had received the actual vaccine?
In other news, New York Governor Cuomo is threatening to sue the Trump Administration so that his state does not get pushed to the back of the line.
Courtesy of the New York Post:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday fired the latest salvo in his and President Trump’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccine war — threatening to sue the Republican administration if it moves ahead with its immunization distribution plan.
The governor has blasted Trump’s distribution plan as discriminatory and said he is enlisting his own panel of experts to review any vaccine approved by the government, prompting the president to threaten to move New York to the back of the line of states getting the immunization.
“I tell you today, if the Trump administration does not change this plan and does not provide an equitable vaccine process … we will bring legal action to protect New Yorkers,’’ the governor said from the pulpit during a service at Riverside Church in Morningside Heights in Manhattan.
“I’m not going to allow New Yorkers to be bullied or abused,’’ the governor said.
I think it is almost impossible to be surprised by the pettiness of Donald Trump but to deny a lifesaving vaccine to one of the most populated states in the country simply because you hate its governor is pretty fucked up.