COVID-19 vaccine round the corner as trials in US show positive results
New Delhi, May 19: The first COVID-19 vaccine to be tested on people in the United States has shown promise.
Moderna, the manufacturer of the vaccine said that the vaccine appears to be safe and able to stimulate an immune response against the virus. The findings were based on the results from the first 8 people who each received two doses of the vaccine, starting March.
Antibodies were made and then tested in human cells in the lab. It was found that the virus did not replicate. This is the key requirement for the vaccine. Moderna said that the second phase involving 600 people will begin soon and a third phase will start in July, involving 1,000 healthy people. The FDA has given Moderna the go-ahead for phase II earlier this month.
The firm's chief medical officer Tal Zaks said that if those trials go well, then a vaccine will be available for widespread use by the end of this year or early 2021. Three doses of the vaccine were tested, low, medium and high. These results were based on the tests of low and medium doses. The only adverse effect was redness and soreness in one patient's arm where the shot was administered. At the highest dose, three patients had fever and headaches, Zaks said. However, these symptoms went away after a day, he also said.