The biotechnology company Moderna publicly released a detailed description of how it’s conducting the large, late-stage trial of its coronavirus vaccine, which will reveal whether the vaccination is both safe and effective. 

The 135-page document, posted today (Sept. 17) on the company’s website, breaks down the nitty gritty of how many patients will be enrolled, how many infection cases are needed in order to see if the vaccine works well enough to be approved, and how they’ll make sure the drug is safe and doesn’t cause serious side effects. In general, to determine whether a vaccine works, drug companies must compare how many vaccinated people catch the virus compared with a group of unvaccinated people in the trial, who instead receive a placebo shot, in what’s known as a phase 3 trial.



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