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Coronavirus: Moderna says tweaked vaccine works against variants, two BioNTech/Pfizer doses give 95%


Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) had a double dose of good news regarding their COVID-19 vaccines.

Moderna said that its tweaked jab was successful in neutralising the South African and Brazilian variants of the virus in laboratory trials.

READ: US backs proposal to lift patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines to boost supply

It means that boosters against the mutations could be effective in curbing the virus, with potential to be rolled out this year.

The biotech said feedback from governments looking for jabs has been “overwhelming” and it has increased supply forecast to 800mln-1bn doses.

The first three months of the year marked its first profitable quarter, with net income swinging to a whopping US$1.2bn compared to a loss of US$124mln in the same period in 2020.

Revenue rocketed 237-fold to US$1.9bn compared to US$8mln last year after the COVID-19 vaccine delivered US$1.7bn of sales. Cash at period-end was US$8.2bn.

Meanwhile, a new study showed that two doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine proved 95% efficacy against infection, hospitalisation and death.

One shot delivered 58% protection against infection, 76% against hospitalisation and 77% against death.

The study, published in the Lancet medical journal, was conducted in Israel which is the country with the highest percentage of the population being vaccinated.

“These findings suggest that high vaccine uptake can meaningfully stem the pandemic and offers hope for eventual control of the Sars-CoV-2 outbreak as vaccination programmes ramp up across the rest of the world,” researchers said.

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