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After publishing their early but promising results in the New England Journal of Medicine, the United States (US) based biotech firm Moderna has announced that they will be entering the final stage in human trials for their Covid-19 vaccine on 27 July 2020.
What you need to know: The company’s published results from the first stage of their vaccine trial showed that the first 45 participants had all successfully developed antibodies to the virus that caused Covid-19.
The third phase of their human trials will involve 30,000 participants in the US, half of which will receive 100 microgram dose levels of the vaccine, while the other half receive a placebo.
Why it matters: The world is in desperate need for a vaccine to control this highly contagious virus. To date, more than 13.2 million people across the globe have been infected with Covid-19 and the virus has killed around 570,000 people.
The virus has also caused lockdowns to take place all over the world, even affecting the global economy.
Who said what: Scientists caution that the first vaccines to come to market may not be the most effective or safest.
What’s next: At the moment, Moderna is at the forefront of the global race to find a Covid-19 vaccine. According to clinicaltrials.gov, Moderna’s trials should be completed on 27 October 2020.
Besides Moderna, China’s SinoVac has also reached their final stages of testing and are in phase 2 of clinical trials. Meanwhile, according to Russian news, researchers there have completed clinical trials on a vaccine but have yet to publish data.
How it got here: The study is designed to learn whether or not the vaccine can prevent infections, and if it doesn’t, whether it can instead prevent the onset of symptoms. If the latter occurs, the vaccine will still be considered a success if it is able to stop severe cases of Covid-19.
Moderna’s vaccine belongs to a new class of vaccine. It uses information from the virus’s genetic material to grow the virus’s harmless spike protein – part of the virus which it uses to invade human cells – inside the human body and trigger an immune response.
This type of technology bypasses the need to manufacture viral proteins in a lab, making the whole process much faster. However, no such vaccines have ever received regulatory approval yet.
Starving forensic investigator turned writer cause she couldn't find a job. Used to search for killers now searches for killer stories.