The SARS-CoV-2 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. appeared to have elicited an equally strong immune response in older adults as much as younger people, a preliminary study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found.
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial follows the earlier trial where volunteers aged 18-55 were jabbed with the vaccine and it elicited “an acceptable safety and reactogenicity profile and was immunogenic”.
It must be noted, the capacity of a vaccine to protect the older population is imperative to avert the fatality rates from COVID-19 since this population tends to be more vulnerable to the severity of the disease.
“Given the increased morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 in older and elderly adults, these data give us optimism in demonstrating mRNA-1273’s protection in this population, which is being evaluated in the Phase 3 COVE study,” said Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Moderna in a media release.
The results of the preliminary scale trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It says two doses of the vaccine (25 micrograms and 100 micrograms), delivered intravenously was administered in 40 adults, aged 56-70-71 and older.
Overall, the researchers found, those older adults who received the 100 microgram dose in a 28-days apart time-frame, of the vaccine showed immune response equal to younger adults.
Side effects of the vaccine was also found to be mildly moderate, meaning the side-effects of the jab most frequently included pain in the site of injection, chills, fever, myalgia, and fatigue.
Researchers said, typically these side-effects show up soon after receiving the vaccine and also resolves quickly and the severity has been compared to that of what an older adult would get from a high-dose influenza vaccine.
Moderna is reportedly carrying out its Phase III clinical trial with the higher dose variant before they seek emergency use approval.
Just recently Johnsons & Johnsons announced its COVID-19 vaccine elicited a strong immune response in humans following a satisfactory trial in macaque monkey earlier this year.
Over 100 vaccines are currently under development in the world, under pressure of what is said to be the biggest public health crisis of this century.
More than 30 vaccine candidates who are developing an immunization for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 have entered the phase of a clinical trial.