Moderna Says Its Vaccine Appears To Be 95% Effective | Talking Points Memo

Moderna said Monday its COVID-19 vaccine is proving to be highly effective in a major trial, a second dash of hope in the global race for a shot to tame a resurgent virus that is now killing more than 8,000 people a day worldwide.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

These claims – 90%, now 94.5% – approach a Stalinist level of results.
It kind of makes me wonder when the Western scientific-industrial complex will exceed the 5 year plan.
As there’s no doubt that I’ll take one of them, I hope these claims can stand up to an independent scientific review.


The strong results were a surprise. Scientists have warned for months that any COVID-19 shot may be only as good as flu vaccines, which are about 50% effective.

One aspect of the mRNA vaccines that had been under-appreciated is that they also provoke a T-cell response in addition to the production of antibodies. There are indications that young children have fewer severe cases from the virus because their immune response is dominated by T-cells, and it could be the vaccines’ T-cell response that’s making these vaccines much more effective than anticipated.

[edited to fix typos. I wrote this before having my coffee this morning :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:]


I’m torn.
Sincerely, for the world’s benefit I have hope vaccinations will stanch the spread of the virus.
Long term I’m worried for the millions exposed to possible side effects that might be discovered a year or years from now.

I’m going to pass on vaccinations. By the way it looks-- the trials have been setup demographically as too broad a cross-section to target and benefit me categorically.


How long will it take for the Trumpster fire to turn this into a pissing match among the pharmas, pit one company aganst another, and proceed to fuck it all up in the process.


Now that there are apparently vaccines soon coming to the market Trump deserves a new election, since it’s really not fair he was forced to defend his office in the midst of a pandemic.


“The company said its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective”

I highly doubt that the data is accurate to three significant digits. -Overall though, it is extremely good news.


More than a few drugs and vaccines have negative side effects that sometime take months or years to manifest themselves. Hence the long development and trial timelines so many of them endure before FDA approval. We don’t hear much talk of anyone having reservations about the long term safety of these COVID vaccines.

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What are the long term side effects of having been infected by the virus? There are viruses, eg HPV, that can cause cancer many years after the original infection. You have to consider that into the equation.


Fuck him: Donnie allowed, if not encouraged, going on 300,000 people to die getting here.
It didn’t have to be that way.


We don’t hear much about the long term side effects of getting infected either. I will take the vaccine as soon as it is available.


Between legitimate concerns about long-term effects and the right-wing noise I’m encountering (Bill Gates, CIA, chip implants, Facebook, world domination through vaccine, etc.), I’m wondering who’s going to take these. As someone with a possible complicating factor, I’m strongly hoping the long-term angle will be loudly and repeatedly addressed. 'Cause I sure would like a vaccine!


Very good point. Long-haul COVID is pretty daunting. I have a very fit friend who has permanent organ damage after having full-blown, symptomatic COVID for four months.


The disease has been with us for 9 months. It’s difficult to judge the long term effects of a condition we’ve only been exposed to for that amount of time.

A friend just had a kid. He’s 9 months old. For some reason he won’t tell us what the kid is going to be when he grows up.


I’ll take the one with 110% effectiveness

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Been in a strict self-quarantine since March with solid PPE and prevention protocols. And I’ve prattled on here about my conditions and comorbidities often enough-- to not express them again.

What I’ll say-- is that I’ve navigated my health issues over the past 10 years with aplomb. Back at the start of that decade-- required a series of events that as closely paralleled a miracle-- that one might imagine.

These first rounds of vaccinations? Aren’t likely to be offered to me-- by way of statistical probability anyway. Risk of side effects upsetting a balance I tune daily? I’m comfortable continuing-- until I might be convinced otherwise.


They already have.


By the time it is going to take for the vaccine to be available to me in my corner drugstore or doctor’s office there will be semi-long term data available. Six months?


Let’s remember that these numbers have enormous error bars around them, some statistical, some not. What they did was to break the blinding for the first X (90-some) people in the trial to test positive for Covid-19 and see how many of them were vaccine and how many were placebo. Statistics says that even with such a small sample of the test population you can detect whether the vaccine is having an effect, as long as your sample is representative. (A 90% raw rate might mean, for example, that you are almost certain the actual effect is somewhere between 60 and 99%)

But. All this relies on your placebo and vaccine groups having equal risk of exposure. Which you can believe to be true but can’t be sure of without detailed diaries and contact tracing. Especially when the first 100 people to get the disease in a 30,000-person trial may be risk outliers (because, duh, people who engage in high risk behavior will on average get the virus earlier). So there could be a systematic bias.

We also don’t know whether the vaccine and the placebo have the same side effect profile (which in turn would modify behavior, thus modifying risk). Which is one of the many reasons betting the farm on early results may be unwise.


Sounds good, but we need the details and the longer term picture. I had heard on Democracy Now that the Phizer “90% effective” rates came after a 7 day trial - while we know that 14 days is considered a nominal incubation time. Moderna probably used similar standards.

Looks promising, but the devil will be in the details.

Also, I hadn’t realized the flu vaccines were just 50% effective! I got one last December 2019 for the first time since the Ford Administration - and then got the flu in January. It was only the second time for me since the Ford Administration. Now it makes more sense…