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Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise in Older Adults

Feb, 2021

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Older adults are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and are an important population for vaccination.

In the last few months, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19 outbreak) emerged as the global pandemic. The virus has infected around 33.8 million individuals and killed around 1.01 million people across the globe. According to some health experts, the novel coronavirus may live for about a year or more until the first treatment or vaccine is available. Researchers around the world are trying to develop a safe and effective vaccine to combat the virus. Moderna, the United States-based biotechnology company has unveiled its Phase 1 data trial of the COVID-19 vaccine, named mRNA-1273.

Phase 1 trial of the mRNA vaccine showed that the vaccine is well-tolerated and induces a strong immune response in older adults. The research was published in September 2020 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The mRNA vaccine is co-developed by Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Older adults are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and are an important population for vaccination. It is a step towards creating a next-gen of transformative medicines for COVID-19 patients.

The Phase 1 trial enrolled around 40 individuals; 20 adults aged 71 years and more, and 20 adults aged 56 to 70 years. In each age group, ten participants received a lower dose (25 μg) of the vaccine and ten received a higher dose (100 μg) of the vaccine. After about a month, the participants received a second dose (same dose) of the vaccine. The team found that the vaccine was well-tolerated in this older age group. However, after vaccination, some of them experienced some transient adverse effects, such as fatigue and fever. Moreover, the team found that they exhibited a good immune response to the vaccine. According to the researchers, the results further support the testing of the vaccine in older adults in an ongoing Phase III trial.

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