Studies of a potential coronavirus vaccine has yielded promising results, U.S. researchers announced Tuesday.
According to the Associated Press, the experimental vaccine produced high levels of neutralizing antibodies in all 45 volunteers who received it during the phase 1 trial. Researchers say this immune response was found across all patients who were administered various doses; however, the vaccine requires two doses about a month apart for patients to show significant immune responses.
"This is an essential building block that is needed to move forward with the trials that could actually determine whether the vaccine does protect against infection," Dr. Lisa Jackson, of the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle, said.
Volunteers who took the vaccine, which was developed by Moderna Inc. in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, reportedly experienced mild side effects that are reported with many other vaccines: Fatigue, chills, pain, and headaches were just some of the symptoms patients reported; although researchers said these side effects last about a day after vaccination. The report also notes "Tuesday’s results only included younger adults."
"No matter how you slice this, this is good news," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading health expert told the AP.
Moderna is expected to begin larger-scale Phase 3 trials later this month, with about 30,000 participants across more than 80 locations. Enrollment for Phase 2 started in May. Representatives for the biotech company said they are hopeful that the final Phase 3 studies will find that the vaccine is both safe an effective for widespread use.
"With the Phase 3 dose being finalized ... the Company remains on track to be able to deliver approximately 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, beginning in 2021," Moderna said in a statement.