A promising vaccine for the Coronavirus is showing that it may give immune systems the needed boost to fight off the virus. Last Tuesday, The New England Journal of Medicine announced that the mRNA-1273 vaccine is showing promise and will move to a 30,000-person study.
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The results of the preliminary 45-person trial that started in March, showed that participants developed neutralizing antibodies in levels that are shown in those who recovered from COVID-19. While these results look good, they are not a guarantee that the vaccine will move to mass production yet. Vaccines take a long time to create, test, verify, and produce. The government is hoping to see the results of the next trial by the end of the year and that will give a much better picture as to how viable this shot is. Even on that timeline, this would be a record for vaccine approval.
The vaccine works by taking two separate shots a month apart from each other. While there were no serious side-effects to the shots, participants did report mild-flu like systems. This is not uncommon for vaccines and should not be surprising. Symptoms included: fatigue, headache, chills, fever, and pain near or at the injection site. The report also stated that these symptoms only last for a day after injection.
Results from Tuesday only included young adults (ages 18 to 55), but older adults were included later as a part of stage 1 testing. These results are back but not published yet as they are still being evaluated. As most of us know, older adults are more likely to have serious or life-threatening cases of COVID-19. Older adults and those with pre-existing conditions will be included in the 30,000 person study.
This is not the only vaccine that is nearing its final stage of testing. Nearly two dozen other vaccines are being tested around the globe. China and Oxford University are both nearing final testing stages in their trials.
Dr. Fauci had this to say about the so-called race for the vaccine:
“We need multiple vaccines. We need vaccines for the world, not only our own country.”
– Dr. Fauci. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Phase two of testing began in May and scientists are hopeful that stage 3 testing (30,000-person trial) will begin somewhere in late July. These results are promising and I am hoping that this vaccine, and others around the globe, are safe and effective as soon as possible. We have to hold our breath for a little bit longer and thank those that are developing these vaccines, many lives depend on it.