Moderna To Ask FDA To Approve New COVID-19 Vaccine That’s 94% Effective | Talking Points Memo

Moderna Inc. said it would ask U.S. and European regulators Monday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection — ramping up the race to begin limited vaccinations as the coronavirus rampage worsens.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I hope FDA still feels the urgency to review the application quickly.


Get ready for the fleece wagon, boys and girls.

We’ll see.

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Very promising results. I really want to be vaccinated soon. I am sick and tired of hunkering down.


I will have more confidence in statements about these new vaccines when Trump is out of the picture.


Same here. I am not in the highest risk category but will probably be able to get the vaccine in the second and presumably larger round because of age. I will take it, especially if there are no ill effects that become obvious in the first round.


Ninety percent effective - at what cost? Transparency on potential side effects is critical to me.

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My niece is a biomolecular scientist who works for Sanofi. We asked her during our Zoom Thanksgiving which vaccine(s) that she would recommend. She said that the only vaccine (of the vaccines that are near ready) that she would be hesitant to receive would be Moderna’s. She didn’t elaborate. It was Thanksgiving after all, and there were 30 of us trying to catch up after almost a year of not seeing each other.


I can see where any of these organizations that have developed the vaccine will go for the jugular when it comes to paying for it. This isn’t after years or decades of development, but it was a rushed process. The Big Pharma folks will twist into pretzels justifying the cost to the consumer. The current government may not help with this, but possibly in the Biden administration, some cost control may be put on it for the first year.

Again, and it’s been said many times for the last nearly year, if ever there was a platform to re-design our health insurance in this country, this has certainly been it. We haven’t heard yet about the destruction to thousands of families that are trying to pay off the debt owed to the health care system, which may by case be as much as a quarter of a million dollars. We haven’t seen yet the increase in insurance premiums for 2021, if one has health insurance (even through one’s job) - that will become apparent in the next couple of months.

My libertarian friend is still pooh-poohing the need for shutdown. He says this is hardly the Black Death and that the Spanish flu didn’t shut down the country. But then I found this:

How they flattened the curve during the 1918 Spanish Flu (

And told him the SCOTUS just denied one of the big shutdowns that was put in place. Not to mention the Spanish flu was three years long and we’re not even a year into it yet.

I’m getting tired of arguing with the sentiment that it just isn’t a big deal. The facts point to something entirely different.


You will still need to hunker down until some months after the majority of the people you come into contact wtih have been vaccinated. Do the math: 95% effective vaccine still leaves a 1 in 20 chance of being infected. Expose yourself 20 times by doing the pre-pandemic “normal” things that you’re not doing now, your chance of infection approaches 100 percent.

The vaccine works for you by wiping out the virus in the general population by deniying it sufficient opportunity to reproduce. The increased personal preotection is a side benefit, but not a virtual moon suit.


I think the thing to watch for will be the “new infections” count getting down to tiny numbers in your neck of the woods, and staying down there for at least 2-3 weeks. That will indicate that the virus is no longer circulating in your community, and that you’re probably not going to encounter infected people when you go to the Piggly Wiggly.

ETA: And don’t pack your monogrammed luggage for a trip to Venice any time soon.


New (improvised) definition for “libertarian”:

“somebody who hasn’t yet realized how much they depend upon the social safety net, and knows just enough about Google to be dangerous.”


Not long enough. There are entire countries and states that got their new infection numbers down to single digits per day, only to see the virus flare up again. Try a number of months, along with the local government saying they believe 70%+ of the local population has been inoculated.


That can only mean that the virus was reintroduced from outside, and to a population that still had no immunity, either by having already had the virus, or by getting a vaccine. Widespread vaccination will change the overall environment, making that kind of new, sudden flareup far less likely.

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… and who has the highly developed empathy and concern for others of a sullen 12-year-old.


I develop vaccines for a living and have been skeptical about the mRNA technology. After all, studies have been underway since the 1990s attempting the use of this vaccine technology without success so, this is a big deal. I understand the innovative changes that both Pfizer and Moderna made and it makes sense that the immune system would behave differently. So, this is huge for a number of reasons, many beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic, as it opens the way for future generations of vaccines. We will need to see if there are any rare side effects when millions of people are vaccinated, but that is true with all vaccines. The next major issue I see is public response when it becomes clear that there is not enough vaccine to go around and the general public will not receive either vaccine before the middle of next year at the earliest. How do we respond when waiting our turn, when professional athletes are vaccinated before postal workers, or any regular non-famous person. Our character will be tested beyond the infections caused by the virus. Everyone is a hero until the first lifeboat actually shows up and then people fight to get in, especially if seats are limited. Wait for the next boat is a hard message and our national character has not been great recently. So, we will need to mask, distance, hand wash, etc. for the foreseeable future. And be patient. That said, this is good news.


Yes, but not in your aforementioned “two or three weeks”.

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I would take that 94.5% and 95% rating with a grain of salt. This is how drug companies arrive at their numbers:

“In patients with multiple risk factors for heart disease, LIPITOR REDUCES RISK OF HEART ATTACK BY 36%* If you have risk factors such as family history, high blood pressure, age, low HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) or smoking.”
The noteworthy part of this New York Times ad is the asterisk and this explanation of the 36% statistic: “That means in a large clinical study, 3% of patients taking a sugar pill or placebo had a heart attack compared to 2% of patients taking Lipitor.”
Take a moment to appreciate the significance of this rare finding of candor in one of those ubiquitous Lipitor ads featuring Dr. Robert Jarvik, “inventor of the Jarvik Artificial Heart and Lipitor user.” Most drug ads would rather proclaim a “36% reduction” and leave it at that, but this version shows exactly what it means. Take Lipitor for years and your risk of having a heart attack drops 1%. Granted, the explanation is in much smaller type than the 36%, but at least it’s there.

I saved this explanation from the NYT a number of years ago. Now, drug companies do not make this data available to the public anymore. I can see why.
Using the same statistics, there was a 40% greater chance of dying of liver and other cancers in the Lipitor group compared to the placebo group.
Here’s an article further explaining how this works:


Well, DUH!

Moderna stands to make BILLIONS OF $$$ if they can get their vaccine to market while the pandemic is still raging.

I wonder if Kelly Loeffer and other Republicans have recently bought up lots of Moderna stock?

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