U.S. researchers have given the first shot to a healthy American volunteer in their test of an experimental coronavirus vaccine.
The medical breakthrough spearheads the worldwide hunt for protection against this surging pandemic. Ultimately, 45 volunteers at Seattle’s Kaiser Permanente research facility will be injected. (BBC News)
The vaccine cannot cause Covid-19 but contains a harmless genetic code copied from the virus that causes the disease.
Experts say it will still take many months to know if this vaccine, or others also in research, will work.
And this first human trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health, sidesteps a check that would normally be conducted – making sure the vaccine can trigger an immune response in animals.
But the biotechnology company behind the work, Moderna Therapeutics, says the vaccine has been made using a tried and tested process.
Volunteers will receive two shots in total, 28 days apart. Even if the preliminary results go well, it could take up to 18 months for a potential vaccine to become publicly available.