CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine was only 47 percent effective in a clinical trial, according to preliminary results released Wednesday that suggest the vaccine may not help fill the worldwide need for vaccines.
The vaccine’s efficacy is the lowest reported so far by a COVID-19 vaccine maker and is “pretty devastating” for the German company, Jacob Kirkegaard, a vaccine supply expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., told The New York Times. A final analysis from the trial of the mRNA vaccine, which included 40,000 volunteers in Latin America and Europe, is expected in two to three weeks.
The results released on Wednesday were based on data from 135 volunteers who got sick with COVID-19. An independent panel compared the number of sick people who had received a placebo with those who had received the vaccine. Although the vaccine did seem to offer some protection, the statistical difference between the two groups was not stark, working out to an efficacy rate of 47 percent.
While CureVac said it plans to seek approval of the vaccine from the European Medicines Agency, experts suggest it will be difficult for the company to recover, The Times reported. With an efficacy rate that low — far lower than the roughly 95 percent effectiveness of competing mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna — the likelihood of CureVac’s shots getting adopted is low.
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