The good news when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines just keeps coming.
A second COVID-19 vaccine has completed testing successfully. This new vaccine comes directly on the heels of last week’s news story that the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech completed its latest trial with a 90 percent effectiveness rate. The new vaccine, developed by Moderna, saw an efficiency rate of just over 94 percent.
The outstanding results are thanks in part to President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed that provided Moderna with $1.5 billion back in August to help speed the development of a vaccine. Moderna hopes to produce and distribute around 20 million doses of its new COVID-19 vaccine by year’s end, depending on FDA approval speed.
Dr. Scott Atlas, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, spoke with Dan Bell from OAN. Dr. Atlas called the development of the vaccines great news for Americans — and especially older Americans who are more vulnerable to the virus. He said that the success rate of both these vaccines was higher than expected. Between the two vaccines, there should be enough doses to vaccinate all the high-risk individuals by the end of January 2021, Dr. Atlas believes.
Despite what some in the media have implied, both vaccines have been thoroughly tested.
“No safety corners were cut. The efficiency comes from the president and the Operation Warp Speed effort,” Dr. Atlas responded to a question about possible safety concerns. He continued, “We have the safest FDA in the world.”
In fact, regulators held drug manufacturers to safety requirements for testing the new vaccines to a higher standard than similar testing. The number of days after the second dose of the two-dose protocol was increased from 42 days to 60 days before the vaccine was deemed safe.
“If I get the chance to take the vaccine,” Dr. Atlas said, “I going to take the vaccine.”
Moving on from vaccines, Bell asked the doctor about the development of therapeutics meant to treat current coronavirus patients.
According to Dr. Atlas, “The big news is really the Lilly drug, which is called a monoclonal antibody. This is a real game-changer.”
The Lilly drug has been shown to reduce hospitalizations by up to 70 percent for symptomatic members of the higher-risk 65 years and older demographic. Most states already have received doses of the Lilly drug, and it is available. The medication is available for no out-of-pocket cost to all Medicare recipients.
With success after success on the treatment and prevention fronts, the US’s rate of testing continues to be high, with almost a million tests conducted daily. However, medical professionals are getting much better at treating those who test positive for the virus.
“The cases are exploding, yet the deaths are not exploding like they were in March and April.” Dr. Atlas added, “The lockdowns are killing people, destroying middle-class families, sacrificing our children [by being] out of schools.”