The announcement about Moderna's coronavirus vaccine trial is 'really exciting and really reassuring', according to immunologist Lara Dungan.
She says we're still waiting for the raw data to come through rather than a press release, but the announcement is still 'very significant'.
The US company's press release stated that early data shows their vaccine candidate is 94% effective with no significant safety concerns.
It comes just a week after Pfizer said its candidate was more than 90% effective.
Dr Dungan spoke to The Hard Shoulder about what today's announcement means.
She explained: "What they're telling us is they have a very good option for a vaccine going forward.
"They vaccinated around 30,000 people in their study... they vaccinate half with the vaccine, and half with just saline. Then they let these people go off and live their normal lives.
"What they found is that, in total, for the whole 30,000 there were 95 cases of COVID - but 90 of them were in the group that didn't get the real vaccine. Five were in the group that did. Based on that, their stats say it is 94.5% effective - which is very high for a vaccine."
She said the number of infections recorded so far is small in terms of data, but "so far it's looking good".
'Optimism needs to be cautious'
Dr Dungan said we still don't know whether vaccination means people are still able to transmit the virus.
She said: "The important thing to note.... is that optimism still needs to be cautious. They have not released their raw data - they have released a press release. It looks wonderful and beautiful, but it's what the company wants us to know.
"They also haven't release information about people who are potentially, let's say, immune... whether or not they can transmit the virus. That data isn't there, or certainly it hasn't been released to us yet."
However, despite the clear caveats, she said she's "really excited" - especially since both Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines use similar technology.
She noted: "[It's] An mRNA vaccine - which is quite different to any vaccine that has ever come out before.
"[We have] two in a row [that] seem to be working, seem to be working well, and seem not to have significant side effects."
Dr Dungan said the lack of side effects is a vital detail, as medication cannot cause any harm to people.
She said she understands the concerns about new vaccines - but 'good, robust' data will be able to help encourage people that it is safe.
She added: "That is the best thing you can do to persuade people to take this vaccine.
"If and when that comes, please people - take the vaccine."