Moderna will ask US and European regulators on Monday to allow emergency use of its Covid-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection.
Several vaccine candidates must succeed for the world to stamp out the worsening pandemic.
Moderna is just behind Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in seeking to begin vaccinations in the US in December. Pfizer's vaccine is also due to be approved in the UK in the coming days.
Moderna had already clamed its vaccine is up to 95 per cent effective and has now said its final batch of test results confirm the figure to be 94 per cent.
“I allowed myself to cry for the first time,” said the company's chief medical officer, Dr Tal Zaks, on learning the results. “We have already, just in the trial, saved lives. Just imagine the impact then multiplied to the people who can get this vaccine.”
Moderna said the vaccine's proven safety record shows it meets the standards set by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use, before final-stage testing is complete.
The European Medicines Agency also signalled that it is open to faster emergency clearance.