MAY 19, 2020 3:32 PM PDT

COVID-19 Vaccine On Track for Late 2020

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Moderna, a biotechnology company based in Massachusetts, has released information on its vaccine against COVID-19 from its Phase I human trial conducted in March. One of eight vaccines globally that has begun human testing, the company’s chief medical officer says that it may be available for widespread use by late 2020 or early 2021. 

In an announcement, the company stated that from tests involving eight people, their vaccine appears to be safe and able to stimulate the production of antibodies against the COVID-19. Of those studies, each participant was healthy and aged between 18 and 55. The researchers found that antibodies present in the participants after receiving the vaccine were able to stop the virus from replicating under lab conditions. 

During the trial, participants were given three doses of the vaccine: low, medium and high. Side effects for those on low and medium doses were limited to redness and soreness where the vaccine was given. Meanwhile, for those on higher doses, three patients had a fever, muscle pains and headaches lasting no more than a day.

Due to the trial’s small sample size as well as its nature (only testing antibodies in lab conditions as opposed to real-life situations), rather than proving that the vaccine can trigger immunity against COVID-19, the data simply suggests that it may be effective. Further experimentation is needed to confirm this. To this end, Phase II trials involving 600 volunteers are expected to begin soon, followed by a third phase involving thousands of people in July. 

Nevertheless, Moderna’s Phase I testing is still underway- this time for two other age groups: those aged between 55 and 71 and over 71. The company has not mentioned any plans to include children in its studies. This is not surprising however as it is generally uncommon practice to test vaccines on children until safety among young adults has been established. 

Although the vaccine’s effectiveness in humans against the virus is still unknown, Moderna says that additional tests on vaccinated mice have shown that it is able to prevent the virus from spreading in their lungs. The company also said that the vaccine seemed to stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies in mice comparable to those in people having received the same vaccine. 

 

Sources: LabRoots, NYTimes, Washington Post

 

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
APR 15, 2020
Neuroscience
APR 15, 2020
How Magic Mushrooms Restructure the Brain
For some time now, researchers have suspected that psilocybin, the hallucinogen chemical present in ‘magic mushroo ...
APR 21, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
APR 21, 2020
Classic Chemotherapeutic Repurposed for Treating Leukemia
Researchers were seeking a promising new strategy to challenge drug resistance in leukemia. They found that targeted low ...
MAY 04, 2020
Immunology
MAY 04, 2020
GeoVax and Sino Bio Collaborate on COVID-19 Vaccine Work
GeoVax Labs, Inc., a biotechnology company developing human vaccines and immunotherapies against infectious diseases and ...
MAY 21, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAY 21, 2020
Molecular 'Switch' Makes Autoimmune Drugs Fight Cancer
Researchers from the Antibody and Vaccine Group at the University of Southampton, England, have identified a way to repu ...
MAY 23, 2020
Cancer
MAY 23, 2020
A New Biomarker to Identify a Triple Negative Breast Cancer Prognosis
Breast cancer, one of the most common cancers in the world, are commonly separated into one of several sub-types. These ...
MAY 28, 2020
Cancer
MAY 28, 2020
The Oncogenic Hazard of a Potential Alzheimer's Treatment
Breast cancer remains one of the most common cancers around the world. Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is a sub-typ ...
Loading Comments...