CMV: Overview

Although cytomegalovirus (CMV) is highly prevalent across all parts of the globe and has severe repercussions for high-risk populations, the general public is largely unaware and uneducated about the virus or Moderna’s pending vaccine.

CMV Overview

Awareness of CMV

  • In stark contrast to the prevalence of CMV, awareness of the virus among the general population is “relatively poor.”
  • Perhaps most notably, the National CMV Foundation estimates that only 9% to 20% of women globally have even heard of CMV, let alone understand its transmission or potential implications.
  • This estimate is corroborated by academic research, such as a 2019 study published in PLOS One which found that “only 20% of study participants had previously heard of CMV,” and that this awareness did not improve among key populations such as recently-pregnant women.
  • Surprisingly, available research also indicates that knowledge related to the virus is also poor among medical practitioners.
  • A 2017 research study in the US found that while 52% of surveyed medical professionals self-reported their awareness of CMV, only 18%demonstrated understanding” of how the virus is transmitted.
  • Subsequent studies in other parts of the world similarly found that knowledge of CMV “contains several gaps” among professionals such as “general practitioners, pediatricians, gynecologists, internal and other medical specialists.”
  • As such, government and nonprofit organizations such as the CDC are actively working to educate the public about CMV with initiatives such as National CMV Awareness Months and other awareness campaigns.

Awareness of Moderna Vaccine

  • Consistent with the lack of general awareness about CMV, the wider population appears largely unaware of Moderna’s forthcoming vaccine to combat the virus.
  • Specifically, and extensive review of traditional media outlets (e.g., Barron’s, Biopharma Dive), social media channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), CMV associations and nonprofits (e.g., National CMV Foundation) and other forums indicates that the business and medical community are the only populations with a meaningful level of awareness about Moderna’s CMV vaccine.
  • In particular, the plethora of top-tier business media outlets (e.g., Bloomberg, Barron’s) and medical industry trades (e.g., Biopharma Dive, BioSpace) covering news of Moderna’s CMV vaccine highlights a general level of awareness regarding this subject among these niche populations.
  • In contrast, the response of the general public to news about Moderna’s forthcoming vaccine has been limited, as evidenced by the fact that Moderna’s recent social media posts about its CMV vaccine received almost no response (e.g., 1 comment, 3 shares, 16 likes on Facebook; 5 retweets, 8 likes on Twitter).
  • As such, the research team was unable to identify any substantial commentary from CMV sufferers about Moderna’s related vaccine development efforts, apart from curated videos/comments provided on Moderna’s website.
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