As the novel coronavirus pandemic claims lives of people at an alarming exuberance, Moderna Inc., a US based company's Covid-19 vaccine brings in an array of hope. The vaccine was tested on a group of healthy volunteers in US for the first time. The tests were run by US government's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and volunteers were successfully able to develop protective antibodies as a response to the vaccine.
Those antibodies then, were tested on human cells and they were able to stop the virus from replicating, assuring rates of success.
The vaccine is called mRNA-1273. It is a small snippet of the coronavirus's genetic code, which is injected into the patient.
As reported by BBC, Tal Zaks, the firm's Chief Medical Officer said, "Three doses of the vaccine were tested: low, medium and high these initial results are based on tests of the low and doses. The only adverse effect at those doses was redness and soreness in one patient's arm where the shot was given." He further added that at the highest dose, three patients had fever and headaches but the symptoms wore off in a day.
Moreover, the test was conducted on eight people who took part in a 45-subject safety trial that kicked off in March. An analysis of the response in the eight individuals also showed that those who received 100 microgram dosage or 50 microgram dosage were able to develop antibodies strong enough to defend themselves from the virus. Not only this, the antibodies produced, exceeded those found in the blood of people who had recovered from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S, had already given a green flag to the second phase of trials wherein increased amount of dosage of the vaccines are being tested presently. Phase three is presumed to commence in July. Scientists and medical experts are now trying to understand how much of dosage would result in best possible effects.
The U.S. government has also been supportive of Moderna, backing its vaccine with $483 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
"If the trials go well, a vaccine would be available for widespread use by the end of this year or early 2021," said Zaks
Nonetheless, the Moderna vaccine is one of more than 100 under development intended to protect against the novel coronavirus that has infected more than 4.7 million people globally and killed over 317,000.
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