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Moderna just made an amazing announcement about its coronavirus vaccine

January 12th, 2021 at 9:13 PM
Coronavirus vaccine
  • Moderna has reported some promising news about its coronavirus vaccine, which is one of two along with the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech to have been given emergency use authorization in the US — and more vaccines are coming soon.
  • The biotech company says its coronavirus vaccine should provide the recipient with immunity to COVID-19 for at least one year.
  • This comes as the number of coronavirus cases in the US is now at about 23 million since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have also been more than 377,000 deaths in the US from COVID-19.

Good news has been such a rare thing during the coronavirus pandemic, which is continuing to kill a scary number of Americans every day — while the US is, unfortunately, continuing to administer vaccine doses at something of a snail’s pace.

Around 9 million coronavirus vaccine doses or so have been administered in the US so far, since December 14, depending on whether you’re looking at CDC data or Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker (which pegs the number at almost 9.3 million). That’s still less than half the amount of people who were originally expected to be vaccinated by the end of 2020. Meantime, the US is seeing at least 3,223 coronavirus-related deaths every day, along with at least 248,650 new coronavirus cases, according to a seven-day average of Johns Hopkins University data calculated by CNBC. At least Moderna, fortunately, has just announced some fantastic news about its coronavirus vaccine.

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Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine was the second of two that have now been given an emergency use authorization in the US, where the latest Johns Hopkins data shows that almost 23 million cases and more than 377,000 deaths have been reported since the start of the pandemic.

Moderna’s good news is that its vaccine should provide immunity to the COVID-19 virus for at least one year, the biotech company said this week, according to Reuters.

Even better, the company says it’s set to deliver at least 600 million and as many as 1 billion doses of its vaccine this year, with the US having already purchased 200 million doses from the company. The UK as well as the EU’s European Medicines Agency have likewise approved Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine in recent days, and the company has also inked distribution agreements with other countries like Japan, Israel, and Canada.

Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, warned on Monday that herd immunity — the phenomenon wherein enough people have either natural or vaccine-generated immunity to a virus that the pandemic is brought to an end — probably won’t be achieved in 2021. However, the continuing rollout of coronavirus vaccines like Moderna’s is what will accelerate us getting to that point, with Swaminathan also seeming to acknowledge that herd immunity could be achieved this year in at least “a couple of pockets” around the world.

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Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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