The RAPID TRANSLATION AWARD honors a public-private partnership that has made progress in the fight against COVID-19.

The vaccine candidate created by Moderna and NIAID is associated with a 94% efficacy rate. This partnership set a precedent for swift pandemic response and the importance of clinical trial diversity. Clinical trials began just 63 days after sequence selection.






About the Vaccine

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19 encoding for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein, which was co-developed by Moderna and investigators from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center. The first clinical batch, which was funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, was completed on February 7, 2020 and underwent analytical testing; it was shipped to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on February 24, 42 days from sequence selection. The first participant in the NIAID-led Phase 1 study of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine was dosed on March 16, 63 days from sequence selection to Phase 1 study dosing. On May 12, the FDA granted the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Fast Track designation. On May 29, the first participants in each age cohort: adults ages 18-55 years (n=300) and older adults ages 55 years and above (n=300) were dosed in the Phase 2 study of mRNA-1273. On July 8, the Phase 2 study completed enrollment.
Results from the second interim analysis of the NIH-led Phase 1 study of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in the 56-70 and 71+ age groups were published on September 29 in The New England Journal of Medicine. On July 28, results from a non-human primate preclinical viral challenge study evaluating the vaccine were published in The New England Journal of Medicine. On July 14, an interim analysis of the original cohorts in the NIH-led Phase 1 study of the vaccine was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. On November 30, Moderna announced the primary efficacy analysis of the Phase 3 study of the vaccine conducted on 196 cases. On November 30, the Company also announced that it filed for Emergency Use Authorization with the U.S. FDA and a Conditional Marketing Authorization (CMA) with the European Medicines Agency. On December 3, a letter to the editor was published in The New England Journal of Medicine reporting that participants in the Phase 1 study of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine retained high levels of neutralizing antibodies through 119 days following first vaccination (90 days following second vaccination) and on December 30, interim safety and primary efficacy results from the Phase 3 trial were published in The New England Journal of Medicine. On December 18, 2020, the FDA authorized the emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in individuals 18 years of age or older.

About Moderna

In 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a science research-stage company advancing programs in the promising-but-still-unproven field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with its first medicine having treated millions of people, a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across six modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio in areas including mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulation, and an integrated manufacturing plant that allows for both clinical and commercial production at scale and at unprecedented speed. Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both groundbreaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing. Most recently, Moderna’s capabilities have come together to allow the authorized use of one of the earliest and most-effective vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moderna’s mRNA platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, and has allowed the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases and auto-immune diseases. Today, 24 development programs are underway across these therapeutic areas, with 13 programs having entered the clinic. Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past six years. To learn more, visit


NIAID conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. For more than 60 years, NIAID research has led to new therapies, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and other technologies that have improved the health of millions of people in the United States and around the world. NIAID is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

The mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate was co-developed by Moderna, Inc. and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. It combines Moderna’s mRNA (messenger RNA) delivery platform with the stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike immunogen (S-2P) developed by NIAID scientists. The vaccine candidate transitioned from early development with NIAID to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, for advanced development and manufacturing support, to meet the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) goals.

The Phase 3 vaccine efficacy trial, known as COVE, was begun under OWS, a multi-agency collaboration led by HHS and the Department of Defense that aims to accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of medical countermeasures for COVID-19. The Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership advised on the trial protocol design and endpoints to ensure a harmonized approach across multiple vaccine efficacy trials. The partnership brings NIH together with other HHS agencies and government partners and representatives from academia, philanthropic organizations, and numerous biopharmaceutical companies to develop a coordinated research strategy for prioritizing and speeding development of the most promising treatments and vaccines. The COVE trial is sponsored by Moderna. BARDA and NIAID are providing funding and technical support for the trial. Twenty-five NIH-funded COVID-19 Prevention Network sites enrolled participants in the trial.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Moderna- 2021 Rapid Translation Award