Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On The History of Our World


Here’s the latest news from the global pandemic.

Is Moderna’s Vaccine a Game-Changer?

Moderna said its Covid-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in a preliminary analysis of a large late-stage clinical trial, another sign that a fast-paced hunt by scientists and pharmaceutical companies is paying off with potent new tools that could help control a worsening pandemic.

The highly positive readout comes just a week after a similar shot developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was found to be more than 90% effective in an interim analysis. Both shots rely on a technology called messenger RNA that has never been used to build an approved vaccine. Soon, millions of people around the world could soon be spared from illness by the breakthroughs.

A preliminary analysis of data from more than 30,000 volunteers showed Moderna’s vaccine prevented virtually all symptomatic cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Only 5 participants who received two doses of the vaccine became sick, compared with 90 coronavirus cases in participants who received a placebo, according to a review of the data by an independent data safety monitoring board appointed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

The vaccine also appeared to be effective in preventing the most serious Covid-19 infections. There were no severe cases among people who got the vaccine, compared with 11 such cases in volunteers who received placebo shots, according to Moderna’s statement.

“The thing that got me the most excited today was the severe disease,” Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said in an interview. “That for me is a game-changer.”—Robert Langreth

Track the cure

Where Are We in the Quest for Treatments?

The scramble to develop treatments for Covid-19 has paid off. Since the disease first emerged, medical professionals have gone from fumbling in the dark to a better understanding of what drugs work. Most recently, U.S. regulators granted emergency authorization for the use of an antibody therapy made by Eli Lilly. Get the details here.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg


What you should read

Tokyo Games in July plan raft of safety measures, including vaccinations.
People are likely to book summer 2021 holidays. But will they actually go?  
It’s the biggest drop among international students in 16 years amid Covid.
It contrasts with the “skills gap” thesis that prevailed after recent recessions.
Issues include provision of PPE, medical insurance cover, compensation. 

We leave all with the following closing thought on the history of our World: 



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