The vaccine to protect against coronavirus has started to be tested in the US. Four patients received the jab. The vaccine contains a harmless genetic code copied from the virus that causes the disease.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases confirmed that the first human trial testing a potential vaccine to prevent COVID-19 finally began. The vaccine was tested for the first time on Monday.
“Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection from the new coronavirus is an urgent public health priority. This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal.”
The National Institutes of Health, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, has been trying for some time now to speed up its collaboration with biotech company Moderna in order to develop a vaccine using the genetic code of the new coronavirus.
The trial took place at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, Washington, where COVID-19 cases have surged and authorities have banned mass gatherings. The early-stage, or phase 1, trial will test the vaccine on 45 males and non-pregnant females between the ages of 18 and 55, according to trial details on NIH’s website.
For now, there are no therapies for the latest outbreak that are approved to be working. Covid-19, according to the last information, killed at least 7,511 people and infected more than 188,000 of them worldwide since emerging from the Chinese city of Wuhan less than three months ago.
Scientists Setting Expectations Low
Hopes to get a vaccine to market are notably high, however, medical experts are pretty real setting expectations low especially regarding the time sequence in which something visible can happen. For now, the only thing it’s left to do for them is to keep developing, testing and reviewing any potential vaccine. This is a long, complex and expensive process that could take months or even years. Further, before researchers even can begin human testing, they have to have a clear understanding of the pathogen, run safety tests and find enough human volunteers.
The early-stage trial is now led by doctor Lisa Jackson, a senior investigator at Kaiser. Study participants will receive two doses of the vaccine via intramuscular injection in the upper arm approximately 28 days apart. Each participant will be assigned to receive a 25 microgram, 100 mcg or 250 mcg dose at both vaccinations, with 15 people in each dose cohort, the agency said.
“This work is critical to national efforts to respond to the threat of this emerging virus. We are prepared to conduct this important trial because of our experience as an NIH clinical trials center since 2007.”
So, yesterday, scientists at the Kaiser Institute gave the first experimental shot to a 40-year old woman.
Fauci stated that if the research goes well, a vaccine still won’t be ready for public use in the next 12 to 18 months. He added that finding a vaccine “is an urgent public health priority,” and that this study that was “launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal.”
This is Not the First Time Coronavirus Vaccine Was Tested on Humans?
However, some reports say that this is not the first time that the vaccine against coronavirus is tested on human beings.
Recombinant COVID-19 vaccine has allegedly been developed by the team led by Chen Wei, a leading Chinese epidemiologist and a major-general in China’s People’s Liberation Army and it has been approved to launch clinical trials in China.
Two weeks ago, it was also reported that Wei injected herself and her six-member team with an untested coronavirus vaccine.
Wei was employed in the same Wuhan lab from where coronavirus COVID-19 strain had escaped.