Moderna has come a long way since the beginning of the pandemic and is on its way to receiving full approval for its vaccine in people 18 years and older from the FDA. Although they have accomplished so much already, they have big plans for the future and have recently revealed a new vaccine development in progress.
As new developments arise, let’s reflect on the progress Moderna has made and what the future may look like for Moderna vaccines.
The progress and future of Moderna
In January 2020, Moderna announced the development of their RNA vaccine to protect against SARS-CoV-2, also known as COVID-19. In March 2020, they began their first human trials in partnership with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). They received up to $483 million from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and continued with trials until February 2021 when their Phase III trial was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicating a 94% efficacy in preventing COVID-19. The Phase III trial is still ongoing and is set to finish in late 2022.
On December 14, 2020, the first deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccines began, including both Pfizer and Moderna. Shortly after, on December 18, the FDA issued the second emergency use authorization (EUA) for the use of the Moderna vaccine in persons aged 18 years and older. On August 12, 2021, the FDA amended the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine EUA to allow for an additional dose to be given to certain immunocompromised individuals.
Following Pfizer, Moderna completed their submission to receive full approval for administering the vaccine to people 18 years old and up from the FDA in August, which is still being reviewed. They also submitted another application for a booster dose at the beginning of September, requesting authorization to give half-doses to the public, regardless of medical status, in place of a third shot. Although they are still waiting on FDA approval, Moderna is not slowing down the train of development for the vaccine.
On September 9, 2021, Moderna revealed that they are currently developing a single-dose vaccine that protects against both COVID-19 and the seasonal flu. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel says in a statement: “Today we are announcing the first step in our novel respiratory vaccine program with the development of a single-dose vaccine that combines a booster against COVID-19 and a booster against flu.” The new vaccine, called mRNA-1073, will combine Moderna’s existing vaccine and a flu vaccine candidate. The trial study will begin soon, and we will be anxiously awaiting the results, as this could change the future of flu and COVID-19 vaccines forever.
ClearStar and COVID Vaccines
The ADA requires that any mandatory medical test of employees be “job-related and consistent with business necessity,” including in the event of a COVID-19 test. If an employer determines that an employee is at risk of exposure to or could spread COVID-19, they may require them to take a COVID-19 test before returning to work. Employers may also screen job applicants for symptoms of COVID-19 if they are doing so for every other person entering the same job. If they are accommodating to the provisions of Title VII and the ADA, employers may also require their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
If an employer wants to test an employee for COVID, ClearStar provides a CRL Rapid Response™ kit — a saliva-based molecular diagnostic test — to determine whether the virus is active or not. The results are available within 24-48 hours, on average. Keep in mind that all COVID-19 screening results must be kept confidential.
To place an order for a COVID-19 test, contact the ClearStar Medical Information Services office at 321.821.3383 or [email protected] To ask about background checks and other medical screening services, call +1.888.982.4648 or visit https://www.clearstar.net/contact/.