United States begins final tests of coronavirus vaccine candidate

So far, only one vaccine candidate has been approved for limited use.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel in a statement on Monday said that "we are grateful to the efforts of so many inside and outside the company to get us to this important milestone", adding that "we look forward to this trial demonstrating the potential of our vaccine to prevent COVID-19, so that we can defeat this pandemic". The third phase of the clinical trial will begin on Monday. The Phase 3 study, called the COVE (Coronavirus Efficacy) study, is being conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Moderna's mRNA-1273 uses the mRNA (messenger RNA) delivery platform to encode for an S-2P immunogen. Volunteers are having their immune response (both antibodies and T cell levels) monitored for at least 12 months, and will also be observed to see whether or not they develop Covid-19. This response is in a similar range to that in individuals who have recovered from Covid-19, providing encouragement that the vaccine will be able to protect the majority of people against infection.

India's vaccine major Serum Institute of India (SII) has also partnered with the British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca for manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine. Trial volunteers will receive two injections about 28 days apart of either 100 micrograms of mRNA-1273 or a placebo. The study is blinded, so the investigators and the participants will not know who is assigned to which group.

The vaccination here was conducted after the volunteers had undergone a rigorous screening procedure. If the test is positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, the participant will be followed closely and referred for medical care if symptoms worsen. To ensure the ongoing safety monitoring of the participants in the trial, data will be reviewed by an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board organised by NIAID throughout the study.

Adults who are interested in joining this study can visit www.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org or visit ClinicalTrials.gov and search identifier NCT04470427 to find a study center to volunteer.

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