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US Biotech Firm Moderna Shares Good Early Results for COVID-19 Vaccine

Ovidiu Balaban-Popa



US biotech company Moderna shares promising results of Phase 1 of its vaccine clinical trials, having induced immune responses from its subjects.

There is a glimmer of hope in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine. After Phase 1, Moderna’s trial vaccine scored promising results. It triggered immune responses in all the volunteers injected with it. These results give scientists hope in creating drugs to combat the pandemic. As the US becomes the COVID epicenter, these results provide solace to its citizens. Currently, the US has over 3 million cases, with 136,000 deaths. Florida, Texas, and California also account for one-fifth of the global numbers.

How Does Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Work?

CNN reports that Moderna’s vaccine triggered immune responses from all subjects. The subjects had side effects like headaches, chills, and pains. After this success, Moderna published the data in the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday. Moderna is a US-based biotech company. CNN adds that they are also the first company to publish results in a scientific journal. Moderna has teamed up with the National Institutes of Health for the tests.

Later in July, Moderna is set to move its vaccine trials to Phase 3. In this stage, regulators see if the drug is ready for general release. CNN also reports that if Moderna succeeds, they could give out about 500 million doses every year. They could even go up to 1 billion, starting from 2021.

Dr. Tal Zaks told CNN that these early results “are good news.” He adds that “many have been waiting for quite some time.” Dr. Zaks is the Chief Medical Officer of Moderna.

Who Participated in Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Test?

For the study, Moderna involved 45 healthy adults, from 18 to 55 years old. Also, they must have received the vaccine candidate twice, 28 days apart. Once gathered, the volunteers went into groups. All groups received vaccine doses of 25, 100, or 250 micrograms. Vaccinations occurred between March 16 and April 14.

What Were the Effects of Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine?

All volunteers reported having side effects. However, these were only mild and went away after some time. Moderna’s data also showed the volunteers produced antibodies against the infection. These are proteins produced to fight off any infection.

The volunteers made antibodies at a similar rate to those who recovered from COVID-19 naturally. Their antibodies attached themselves to the virus. Once connected, they prevent it from attacking human cells.

While Moderna’s trial seems promising, scientists say it is too early to rejoice. More research is still needed. Creating vaccines is very difficult.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says 23 candidate vaccines are undergoing clinical trials worldwide.

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