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Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate set for final testing in the US

Published on 15/07/20 at 11:12am
Photo by Senior Airman Areca Wilson

The first COVID-19 vaccine being used in clinical trials in the US is set to begin final testing.

The experimental candidate is being developed by both the National Institutes of Health and Moderna, and will begin a 30,000 person study to prove if the vaccine can protect against the virus.

The vaccine was tested in 45 volunteers who developed neutralizing antibodies in their bloodstream at levels comparable to those found in people who survived COVID-19. Dr. Lisa Jackson of the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle, who led the study, said: “This is an essential building block that is needed to move forward with the trials that could actually determine whether the vaccine does protect against infection.”

The vaccine requires two doses, and in the first study there were no serious side effects but more than half of the participants reported flu like reactions to the shots common with other vaccines, including fatigue, headache, chills and fever.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said: “No matter how you slice this, this is good news. People think this is a race for one winner. Me, I’m cheering every one of them on. We need multiple vaccines. We need vaccines for the world, not only for our own country.”

Conor Kavanagh

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