What's going on?
Moderna doesn’t want to get into a drug-measuring contest or anything, but the biotech company did announce on Monday that its vaccine is even more effective than Pfizer’s.
What does this mean?
This makes Moderna the second US company to announce late-stage trial data that beat expectations. Next stop: approval from US and European regulators, which Moderna’s said it’ll officially request in the next few weeks. From there, the biotech has set its sights high: it’s expecting to ship 20 million doses of the dual-dose vaccine to the US by the end of this year, and between 500 million and a billion doses globally by the end of 2021.
Why should I care?
The bigger picture: The more, the merrier.
A major advantage of Moderna’s vaccine isn’t just its 94.5% effectiveness to Pfizer’s 90%: it’s that it lasts for 30 days at refrigerator temperatures, compared to Pfizer’s five (tweet this). That could make distribution of the drug simpler and cheaper, since it won’t need the ultra-cold storage that Pfizer’s will. Still, with demand for a vaccine so much higher than any one drugmaker can meet in the near term, they’ll both have their time to shine. That’s certainly true in China, where vaccinations are already underway, as well as in Russia, whose Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine – which was licensed for domestic use in August – is reportedly 92% effective.
For markets: Little victories.
A vaccine is considered the single best way to get the global economic recovery back on track, but there’s already the odd bright spot if you look closely enough. Here’s one: Chinese industrial production and retail consumption data jumped by the most this year in October. That’s a good thing for European and American companies too: it means Chinese shoppers will be more than happy to keep buying their products.