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American covid-19 vaccine shows promise in human trials, giving us the hope we need

Updated on:19 May 2020, 12:49pm IST
We finally have some good news on the covid-19 vaccine front after US biotechnology company Moderna Inc fares success in human trials.
Reuters
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Sigh! Finally some positive news on the covid-19 cure front. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

While we all have been eagerly waiting for a covid-19 vaccine, an American company has seemingly cracked the code. An experimental vaccine made by Moderna Inc has apparently been successful in producing antibodies in a small group.  

What did the US vaccine’s trial journey look like?
In a 45-subject trial, Moderna Inc tested a group of eight people starting March. During this brief trial, subjects were given varying doses of the vaccine ranging from 100 micrograms to 25 micrograms. 

Interestingly, after analysis it was found that people who received a 100 microgram dose and those who received a 25 microgram dose both had enough levels of protective antibodies to fend off SARS-CoV-2, even more than what is found in recovered covid-19 patients.

 covid-19 vaccine
This micro trial being successful is a huge step in cure finding advancement. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

After examining the dose-response, it was found that people who took the higher dose actually produced more antibodies than people who got the lower dose.

The journey to find a covid-19 cure has just started
Although the vaccine was found to be effective in a small group, it can’t be seen as a cure-all for covid-19 yet. Dr Amesh Adalja, an expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in the US, states: “These are significant findings but it is a phase 1 clinical trial that only included eight people. It was designed for safety, not for efficacy.”

This vaccine’s effectiveness in the microcosm is a huge step in the advancement of the cure. “What we do see is encouraging”, Dr Adalja further stated. Yet, it’s still a small victory since it’s efficacy test might bring glitches in thousands of people.

What about side-effects? During the early testing of Moderna’s vaccine, three participants were found with “flu-like” symptoms after getting a second shot of the highest dose. Researchers believe the symptoms were an indirect measure of a strong immune response.

What shall be the vaccine plan of action now?
Since Mordera Inc’s vaccine has shown promise, it has been given the green light to start the second phase of human testing. It has also been given a “fast-track” status to speed up the regulatory review of its efficacy.

covid-19 vaccine
Moderna Inc is certainly giving us the traces of hope we need. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

As the vaccine enters the second phase of testing, it aims to find the optimal dosage while maintaining effectiveness. The third phase of the trial is expected to start in July and Mordera Inc aspires to supply tens of millions of vaccines a month in 2021 if the trials prove successful.

 An effective vaccine could take 12 -18 months from the start of development, and Moderna Inc started their journey in January.

Although Moderna Inc will make the United States its first beneficiary, they aspire to serve “as many people they can from SARS-CoV-2”. In their endeavor to save the world from the trudges of coronavirus, we wish them all the luck and strength they need. 

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