VigorBuddy.com | JR Aldiosa | Coronavirus Vaccine Clinical Trial Begins | The first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the diseased caused by the coronavirus, began last Monday, March 16, 2020, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.
The vaccine, mRNA-1273, was developed by Moderna, a biotechnology company, in cooperation with researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The phase 1 study will test three different doses of the coronavirus vaccine on 45 healthy adults. The participants will receive two shots of the vaccine administered 4 weeks apart and will be monitored to evaluate the safety and ability of the vaccine to stimulate an immune response to a protein on the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus surface.
The first shot was administered to Jennifer Haller, a 43-year old from Seattle. She said, “I hope that we get to a working vaccine quickly and that we can save lives and people can go back to life as soon as possible,” in an interview with TIME.
— TIME (@TIME) March 17, 2020
Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D., stated in a press release, “This study is the first step in the clinical development of an mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, and we expect it to provide important information about safety and immunogenicity.”
The start of the trial comes just two months after Chinese authorities sequenced the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus. Research at the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH finalized the design of the coronavirus vaccine and began the manufacture, finishing the first batch on February 7th. Controversially, the vaccine was not tested in mice before beginning the human clinical trials, an incredibly rare occurrence. Though some experts insist that the urgency of the situation justifies the methodology, others are concerned that this could put trial participants at greater risk than normal.
Though the production of the prospective coronavirus vaccine was swift, the evaluation of its viability will take a considerable amount of time. All participants of the trail will be monitored for a full year after the second vaccination to collect the data researchers need to figure out if it is safe and effective.
Even still, there is hope that the vaccine will be the solution that is being sought after in the midst of this global pandemic. Today marked the beginning of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, with President Rodrigo Duterte placing the Philippines under a state of calamity due to the coronavirus disease. As of March 17, there have been 187 reported COVID-19 cases in the Philippines with 14 fatalities.