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Hope for humanity as Covid-19 vaccine shows promising results in human trials

Moderna, the Massachusetts biotechnology company, has announced that the first coronavirus vaccine to be tested on human beings appears to be safe.

According to the company, the vaccine is able to stimulate an immune response against the infection offering a gleam of hope to the world that has literally been crippled by the pandemic which has killed more than 320,000 people globally.

FINDINGS

The preliminary findings, in the first eight people who each received two doses of the experimental vaccine, must now be administered to hundreds and then thousands of people, to find out if the vaccine can work in the real world.

According to the company, all eight developed neutralizing antibodies to the virus at levels reaching or exceeding the levels seen in people who have naturally recovered from Covid-19.

Moderna’s technology, involving genetic material from the virus called mRNA, which is relatively new and has yet to produce any approved vaccine.

HUMAN TESTING

On March 16, 2020, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that the first participant in its Phase 1 study for mRNA-1273 was dosed, a total of 63 days from sequence selection to first human dosing. This Phase 1 study provided important data on the safety and immunogenicity of mRNA-1273.

Immunogenicity means the ability of the vaccine to induce an immune response in participants.

The eagerly-awaited data provide the first look at one of the eight vaccines worldwide that have begun human testing.

The results of the study, which was led by the National Institutes of Health, has not been published in a scientific journal and are only a preliminary step toward showing the experimental vaccine is safe and effective.