How does the Moderna vaccine work?
It works much like the Pfizer / BioNTech push.
The coronavirus has "spike proteins" that it uses to penetrate human cells. Covid-19 vaccines target this spike protein.
Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA), a genetic material that contains information about the spike protein.
The vaccines instruct the body to produce a small amount of this protein which, once detected by the immune system, leads to a protective antibody response.
Moderna's vaccine does not require the same ultra-cold storage as Pfizer's and can be stable for 30 days at normal refrigerator temperature.
How effective is it?
Studies of more than 30,000 people in the United States have shown that the Moderna sting is 94.5% effective in preventing coronaviruses.
While this effectiveness may decrease over time, scientists have said the vaccine should protect against about nine in 10 cases of Covid-19.
Moderna has not identified any material safety concerns.
What about antibodies and T cells?
The vaccines Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna have been shown to elicit both an antibody and a T cell response.
Antibodies are proteins that bind to the body's foreign invaders and tell the immune system that it needs to take action.
T cells are a type of white blood cell that hunt down and destroy infected cells in the body.
Almost all effective vaccines induce both.
When will the Moderna vaccine arrive in the UK?
The government has signed a contract for seven million doses of the Moderna vaccine for the UK.
That's enough for around 3.5 million people who receive two doses each.
According to the government, Moderna is expanding its European supply chain, which means these cans will not be available in the UK until spring at the earliest.
The UK Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) has carried out an ongoing review of the vaccine.
Can This Vaccine Help The Elderly?
There have been concerns that a Covid-19 vaccine might not work as well in the elderly, much like the annual flu shot.
However, data from Moderna suggest the sting works in all age groups, including the elderly.
The Pfizer shock has also been shown to be effective in the elderly.
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