Covid-19: US vaccine enters phase 3 of testing

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It is not yet clear when a result is expected. So far 45 subjects had no serious side effects in the first trial phase.

In the race for a Corona vaccine, a candidate vaccine is entering the hot phase of its testing in the United States. The phase III clinical trial of a vaccine from the US biotech company Moderna has begun, the NIH health authority announced on Monday.

“The study, which will be conducted at clinical research sites in the U.S., is expected to involve approximately 30,000 volunteer adults who do not have Covid-19,” the company said in a statement. The phase III study will test whether the vaccine actually protects against infection. At a similarly advanced stage, only a handful of other vaccines are currently being researched, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The race for Covid vaccination is not just about health, it’s also about money.

An mRNA vaccine

In tests carried out so far with the Moderna vaccine, subjects were able to form antibodies against the coronavirus, according to NIH. It is a so-called mRNA vaccine in which individuals are injected with the genetic material for viral components. The cells of the immunized are then supposed to produce these viral proteins. These resulting antigens, in turn, are supposed to eventually lead to an immune response.

So far, 45 participants between the ages of 18 and 55 have not had any serious side effects. The subjects received two injections of the mRNA vaccine within two months and developed more neutralizing antibodies than those diagnosed with coronavirus infection. Moderna spoke in a statement of a “robust immune response”.

Vaccinations until the end of November

It is unclear when clear results can be expected. Some subjects would probably not receive their second dose of vaccination until the end of November. However, NIH Director Francis Collins expressed optimism that a vaccine would soon be available: “A safe and effective vaccine that will be distributed by the end of 2020 is a big goal, but it is the right goal for the American people.”

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