First Covid-19 vaccine tested on people in US

First Covid-19 vaccine tested on people in US
NEW YORK, MAY 19 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 5/19/2020 1:07:20 PM IST

First coronavirus vaccine to be tested on people in the US appears to be safe and able to stimulate an immune response against the virus, its manufacturer, Moderna announced on Monday. The findings are based on results from the first eight people who each received two doses of the vaccine, starting in March.

Those people, healthy volunteers, made antibodies that were then tested in human cells in the lab and were able to stop the virus from replicating— the key requirement for an effective vaccine. The levels of those so-called neutralising antibodies matched the levels found in patients who had recovered after contracting the virus. Moderna has said the second phase involving 600 people will begin soon, and a third phase to begin in July involving thousands of healthy people. 

The FDA gave Moderna the go-ahead for the phase II earlier this month. If those trials go well, a vaccine could be available for widespread use by the end of this year or early 2021.

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