Mon 16 March 2020:
The first experimental coronavirus vaccine will be administered to a patient on Monday, AP News reported, according to a US government official.
The trial in Seattle, which is funded by The National Institutes of Health, will bring together 45 young, healthy volunteers who will receive different doses of shots co-developed by NIH and Moderna Inc, the report stated.
The vaccine itself does not contain the virus, meaning there is zero chance the participants will become infected. The aim of the test is to check whether the vaccine will have negative side effects on patients before being rolled out to the public.
However, even if initial safety tests go well, “you’re talking about a year to a year and a half” before any vaccine could be ready for widespread use, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told AP News.
The COVID-19 virus, which was first detected in China’s Wuhan in December, has killed more than 6,526 people worldwide, while over 170,855 infections have been confirmed.
The World Health Organisation has confirmed those who experience a milder version of the virus recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
As the pandemic continues to spread across the world, dozens of research groups around the world are racing to create a vaccine while governments continue to impose strict restrictions or “lockdowns” to help stem the spread of the virus.
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