Moderna’s vaccine results are promising but more data is needed to assess length of protection

Following the promising results from Moderna’s mRNA vaccine Phase I trial;

Johanna Swanson, Product Manager at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“The relative speed of production of mRNA vaccines is a clear advantage for Moderna, as mRNA vaccine manufacturing is relatively straightforward, compared with other vaccine types, and is an important consideration for a pandemic of this scale.

“Additionally, the mRNA vaccine’s spike antigen could be modified to make it even more immunogenic and could more easily be altered for mutations. Since mRNA vaccines are fully synthetic, once a target antigen’s sequence is known, a vaccine can be produced quickly. This could allow a future rapid response to another pandemic as the same infrastructure can produce other mRNA vaccines that contain a different sequence.

“Despite these advantages, there are still unknowns about whether an mRNA vaccine containing the spike protein will be enough to offer long-term protection, as durable protection is usually provided by vaccines that feature multiple components of the virus. Furthermore, it is not known what amount of neutralizing antibodies are needed for protection.

“Clinical trials with more participants, especially older high-risk patients, and longer duration are required to show how well the vaccine protects against infections and how long the protection will last.”

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