One of the four vaccines in the final phase of clinical trials is a little closer to completing the process.

A Moderna COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial has reached the goal of 30,000 participant target and is posed to apply for release to the market in December.

Of the 30,000 participants enrolled in the trial, half of them received the trial vaccine, while the other half received a placebo vaccine of a saline solution that does nothing. The participants receive a second dose four weeks after the first shot.

Moderna President Stephen Hoge says the enrollment of 30,000 participants is “just a milestone – it’s not the mission.”

Hoge says three things need to happen in the next few weeks to apply for emergency authorization. First, of the 30,000 participants, 53 must come down with the virus, which is expected to happen in late November. Next, of the 53 sick participants, 40 must be patients who received the placebo instead of the real vaccine, which would show a 75% effective rate.

The last step would be to make sure eight weeks have passed to see whether participants develop side effects, a requirement by the FDA.

The firm also expects to have about 20 million doses of its vaccine ready to ship in the U.S. by the end of the year.

The Massachusetts-based drug developer will be prepared to distribute the vaccine, dubbed mRNA-1273, around the country if its late-stage clinical study proves that it works and the feds approve it, according to company officials.

“From a distribution standpoint, we’re ready,” Dr. Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer, told investors on a Thursday conference call. “We expect mRNA-1273 to be distributed within existing infrastructure. There’s nothing new required that hasn’t already been used for years with many other vaccines.”

In the meantime, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Research shows that the use of vitamin supplements can help stave off infection with respiratory viruses like the coronavirus.

Increasing vitamins A, E and D through diet changes or supplements reduces a person’s risk for breathing and respiratory conditions, including flu and COVID-19, a study published Tuesday by the journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health found.

People who consumed recommended amounts of the three key nutrients were less likely to develop the flu, colds, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, the data showed.

Research has linked vitamin D, in particular, with boosting immune system function, and being deficient in the nutrient has been found to increase a person’s risk for severe COVID-19.

Clearly, vitamins work where mask mandates don’t.

The curve has been flattened. Despite the media’s focus on a surge of cases (and the lack of coverage of preventative actions and new treatments), hospitalizations and fatality rates are down . . . and could decline even more steeply if the press begins to promote the early use of effective treatments.

It is quite clear that Americans around the country want to end the lockdowns and restrictions. I suspect that many voters are going to decide, in part, based on their desire to return to normal life.

 

 
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