As the global countries are scrambling to find a cure for the devastating COVID-19, the US researchers stood ahead by giving an experimental dose to the first participant in the clinical trial for a vaccine against COVID-19.
Jennifer Haller, 43, of Seattle, received the first shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19 at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle on March 16, 2020.
A total of 45 young, healthy volunteers will receive two doses, a month apart to test the safety of the vaccine as well as its ability to induce an immune response in the volunteers.
— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) March 17, 2020
The participants cannot get infected from the shots as the vaccine does not contain the coronavirus.
Even if the initial tests promise to prevent the COVID-19 infection, it may take 12 to 18 months for the vaccine to be ready for public use, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director.
“Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with [the novel coronavirus] is an urgent public health priority,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci. “This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal.”
This vaccine, code-named mRNA-1273, was developed by the NIAID scientists in collaboration with the biotechnology company Moderna Inc.
The Seattle research institute was chosen for the coronavirus vaccine study before COVID-19 began spreading widely in Washington state.
So far, the coronavirus has spread to 162 countries infecting 182,652 people and killing 7,171 people.