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Initial Analysis of Viral Dynamics and Circulating Viral Variants During the mRNA-1273 Phase 3 COVE Trial

By Rolando Pajon, Yamuna Paila, Bethany Girard, Groves Dixon, Katherine Kacena, Lindsey R. Baden, Hana M. El Sahly, Brandon Essink, Kathleen M Mullane, Ian Frank, Douglas Denham, Edward Kerwin, Xiaoping Zhao, Baoyu Ding, Weiping Deng, Joanne Tomassini, Honghong Zhou, Brett Leav, Florian Schodel

Posted 29 Sep 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.09.28.21264252

This analysis assessed the impact of mRNA-1273 vaccination on the viral dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in the ongoing Coronavirus Efficacy (COVE) trial. mRNA-1273 vaccination significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 viral copy number (95% confidence interval [CI]) by 100-fold on the day of diagnosis (4.1 [3.4-4.8] versus placebo (6.2 [6.0-6.4] log10 copies/ml). Median times to undetectable viral copies were 4 days for mRNA-1273 and 7 for placebo. Vaccination also reduced the burden of disease and infection scores. Vaccine efficacies (95% CI) during the trial against SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in the US were 82.4% (40.4%-94.8%) for Epsilon and Gamma, and 81.2% (36.1%-94.5%) for the Epsilon variants. The detection of other respiratory viruses during the trial was similar between groups. In those who became SARS-CoV-2 infected, the reduction of viral load after mRNA-1273 vaccination is potentially correlated to the risk of transmission, which has not been assessed in this study.

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