The Promising New Coronavirus Vaccine You Need to Know About

The biotech company Moderna is moving aggressively into the next phase of testing on its potential vaccine.

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Good news has emerged from the biotech company Moderna regarding a potential coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine is currently in FDA testing protocols and is the first coronavirus vaccine test administered on human beings. Moderna revealed it has done preliminary testing on eight healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55. And, as a result of the positive results, the vaccine is now on an accelerated timetable to begin a larger human trial in July.

Moderna currently calls its vaccine candidate "mRNA-1273." Its study, first done on mice and then on humans, was conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The first eight participants each received two doses of the potential coronavirus vaccine, starting in March. Two weeks following the second dose of the vaccine, the levels of antibodies in the participants were similar to or significantly exceeded those in people who have recovered from COVID-19. Only one subject experienced redness around the injection site, which is considered a "grade 3 adverse event." "No grade 4 adverse events or serious adverse events have been reported," Moderna said in a press release.

"These data substantiate our belief that mRNA-1273 has the potential to prevent COVID-19 disease," Tal Zaks, MD, PhD, chief medical officer at Moderna, said in a statement.

While we are still a ways away from a coronavirus vaccine being made available publicly, Moderna's vaccine will now move aggressively into the next phase of testing. "The Moderna team continues to focus on moving as fast as safely [as] possible to start our pivotal Phase 3 study in July," Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer at Moderna, said in a statement. "We are investing to scale up manufacturing so we can maximize the number of doses we can produce to help protect as many people as we can from SARS-CoV-2." And for more on a possible coronavirus treatment, check out Everything You Need to Know About the New Coronavirus Treatment.

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