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Wednesday Coronavirus Update: Moderna's Vaccine Results Questioned

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Good morning, it’s Wednesday, May 20. 

Here’s your daily coronavirus update.

There are 4.9 million cases worldwide, with over 323,000 deaths.

The U.S. has 1.5 million of those cases, with over 91,000 deaths.

Russia has over 308,000 cases and Brazil has over 271,000 cases.

Moderna got some less than positive news yesterday.

This following Moderna shares hitting a record high Monday after the group published details of its phase 1 vaccine study that suggested at least eight of the 45 patients involved developed coronavirus antibodies in the weeks following the injection of it developing drug, mRNA-127

The healthcare and pharmacy website, STAT News, however, published a report shortly after which questioned the study's sample size, the dearth of hard data and the lack of a corresponding statement from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which partnered with Moderna in the Phase 1 study.

More detailed results from a peer-reviewed study are expected later in the summer, but the Stat News report, as well as Moderna's decision to offer 17.6 million shares at $76 each following Monday's 20% surge to $80 a share, added to investor concerns and generated criticism from political leaders.

Another issue STAT noted is that while the Phase 1 trial included healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55, the ages of these eight people that developed the neutralizing antibodies are unknown, while Anna Durbin, a vaccine researcher at Johns Hopkins University, noted that blood drawn for the study was taken just two weeks after patients received the vaccine. 

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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