(Panarmenian)- The United States National Institutes of Health is starting clinical trials for a vaccine to protect against the new coronavirus, co-developed by NIH and Moderna Inc, Fortune reports.
Moderna Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech company co-founded by Armenian entrepreneur Noubar Afeyan, shipped the first batches of its COVID-19 vaccine in February.
Public health officials say it will take a year to 18 months to fully validate any potential vaccine.
Testing will begin with 45 young, healthy volunteers with different doses of shots. There are no chance participants could get infected from the shots, because they don’t contain the virus itself. The goal is purely to check that the vaccines show no worrisome side effects, setting the stage for larger tests.
Dozens of research groups around the world are racing to create a vaccine as COVID-19 cases continue to grow. Importantly, they’re pursuing different types of vaccines — shots developed from new technologies that not only are faster to produce than traditional inoculations but might prove more potent. Some researchers even aim for temporary vaccines, such as shots that might guard people’s health a month or two at a time while longer-lasting protection is developed.
Worldwide infections have grown to more than 87,000, according to the Johns Hopkins university tracker, while cases inside China, stood at 80,860 as of Monday, March 16, according to the Chinese National Health Commission.