Moderna vaccine news draws Dr. Osterholm's praise

'This is truly good news'
COVID 19 Vaccine
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Monday morning's announcement by US-based biotech company Moderna regarding its COVID-19 vaccine studies is drawing praise from one of the nation's top epidemiologist.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told WCCO Radio's Dave Lee there's still a lot of work to be done on the vaccine.

"This new announcement from Moderna is quite good because it's had a significant reduction in severe disease," Dr. Osterholm said. "People didn't just avoid cough, fever, and chills. They avoided illness that may very well put them in the hospital or susceptible to ICU care."

Moderna says analysis from a phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trails shows it is 94.5 percent effective against infection.

"The other thing is at this point it appears they can keep the vaccine in refrigeration as opposed to the very low temperature of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit," Osterholm said. "If we can keep it a refrigerator temperature for days before it's used, that's going to help us a lot."

The announcement from Moderna comes at a time, according to Dr. Osterholm, when the world is entering the most dangerous period from a public health scene since 1918.

"Our message today is, 'Help us get to that time where we can eliminate this pandemic with vaccines and lets not have to go through more serious illnesses and deaths,"' said Osterholm.