New Delhi: The US-based firm Moderna Inc. has said it would ask American and European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection against the coronavirus infection.Also Read - Coronavirus Vaccine Hopes Ahead, This is How Airlines Plan to Ship Millions of Doses Across Globe

“Vaccine efficacy against COVID-19 was 94.1%; vaccine efficacy against severe infection was 100%,” the company said in a statement on Monday. Also Read - Serum Institute to Seek 100 cr in Damages From Volunteer Who Said 'Covishield' Vaccine Left Him Unwell

Moderna said the shots’ effectiveness and a good safety record so far with only temporary, flu-like side effects mean they meet requirements set by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use before the final-stage testing is complete.

The European Medicines Agency, Europe’s version of FDA, has signaled it also is open to faster, emergency clearance.

Since first emerging nearly a year ago in China, the virus has killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide.

Moderna is just behind Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in seeking to begin vaccinations in the US in December. Across the Atlantic, British regulators also are assessing the Pfizer shot and another from AstraZeneca.

Moderna created its shots with the US National Institutes of Health and already had a hint they were working, but said it got the final needed results over the weekend that suggest the vaccine is more than 94% effective.

Of 196 COVID-19 cases so far in its huge US study, 185 were trial participants who received the placebo and 11 who got the real vaccine. The only people who got severely ill were 30 participants, including one who died had received dummy shots, said Dr Tal Zaks, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, company’s chief medical officer.

When we learned the results, I allowed myself to cry for the first time, Zaks told The Associated Press. We have already, just in the trial, have already saved lives. Just imagine the impact then multiplied to the people who can get this vaccine.