Moderna FAQ: How Does the COVID-19 Vaccine Work? How Safe is It?

Pharma company Cipla has received permission to import Moderna's vaccine for restricted emergency use in India.

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The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted permission to Mumbai-based pharmaceutical firm Cipla to import Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for restricted emergency use in India, Dr VK Paul announced in a press meet on Tuesday, 29 June.

What is Moderna vaccine's efficacy? Does it protect one against different COVID-19 variants?

Here's what we know about the mRNA vaccine.


How does the Moderna vaccine work?

Moderna vaccine primes the immune system to attack coronavirus by delivering a snippet of the virus’s genetic code called messenger RNA or mRNA. mRNA instructs the body to build copies of the spike protein that are found on the surface of coronavirus.

The immune system creates antibodies, primed to attack the virus if it enters the body.

What is Moderna's efficacy?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Moderna has an efficacy of around 94.1 percent, starting 14 days after taking the first dose.

How many doses will I need?

The Moderna jab will be administered in two doses, Dr VK Paul said.

What are the possible side effects?

The most common side effects were injection site pain, fatigue, headache , muscle pain, joint pain, and chills, that typically lasted for up to three days.

Does it protect against the new variants?

The new variants of COVID-19, including B.1.1.7 and 501Y.V2 do not change the effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine, WHO has said.

The collection and analysis of data on new variants and how they affect COVID-19 diagnostics, treatment, and vaccines continues.


How will the Moderna vaccine be stored?

Moderna has also said that its vaccine remains stable at 2 to 8 degrees C (36 to 46 degrees F), the temperature of a standard home or medical refrigerator, for 30 days. Once the vaccine is taken out of a refrigerator for administration, "it can be kept at room temperature conditions for up to 12 hours”.

“Moderna’s long-term storage is at minus 20°C, which is what we do with our polio vaccines. They have published information saying that their vaccine can stay out of minus 20°C for up to a month, so that makes it a much more feasible vaccine to deliver in our programmes.”
Dr Gagandeep Kang, Christian Medical College, Vellore, quoted by Indian Express

How much will one dose of Moderna vaccine cost?

There is no update on this yet. Watch this space for more information.

Do we know when the vaccine will be available in India?

Again, there is no information on this as of now.


Does Moderna's vaccine prevent infection and transmission?

The WHO says that we do not yet know if this vaccine will prevent infection and safeguard against onward transmission. However, gives immunity for several months, but the exact duration is not known yet. These questions are still being studied.

We must continue to follow COVID appropriate behaviour: Masking, physical distancing, washing hands, maintaining respiratory hygiene, avoiding crowds, and ensuring good ventilation.

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Topics:  Cipla   COVID-19   COVID-19 FAQ 

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