After the US decision … South Africa suspends the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine


Moderna announced, Tuesday, that a six-month follow-up of its original study on the efficacy of its vaccine proved that it provides strong protection for a period longer than six months.

The company said that after six months of people receiving the second dose of the vaccine and following them up, it still showed strong protection from the disease with an efficacy of more than 90 percent against all cases of Covid-19 and more than 95 percent against severe cases.

A day before the company informed its investors about the progress of its vaccines, it confirmed that the six-month follow-up of its original study of the vaccine showed that its effectiveness remained consistent with previous updates.

Moderna had announced that it had also begun testing new versions of the vaccine targeting a new strain of Corona virus that caused international concern, which is the one that identified it for the first time in South Africa, known as B.1.351.

In March, the company began testing three methods to boost the vaccine in order to protect against new variants.

The company has so far delivered 132 million doses of its vaccine globally, including 117 million doses to the United States.

The price of a single dose of the vaccine in the United States is about 16 dollars, knowing that it is distributed free of charge, while its price outside the United States ranges between 22 to 37 dollars per dose.

Moderna, licensed or approved for use in more than 40 countries, is a vaccine that uses “messenger RNA” (mRNA) technology, which is a molecule that transports the genetic code from DNA to the cell to produce proteins.

Traditional vaccines depend on the principle of inactivating viruses, and these vaccines train the body to recognize “antigens”, which are proteins produced by the virus, and this would activate the immune system’s response when actually confronting the virus.

The “messenger” RNA vaccines transmit the genetic instructions for the production of these antigens directly in the cells, and the human body turns into a headquarters for the production of vaccines.

With regard to Covid-19, the “messenger” is introduced into the cell to make it make the “antigens” of the coronavirus that are encapsulated in the external proteins, and upon contact with these proteins, the immune system develops antibodies to defend it in case it is exposed to the virus.


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