Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.
The vaccine has received a good response in all of the 45 volunteers who received it in a Phase 1 trial, according to early results published yesterday. The study also revealed some mild side effects — fatigue, chills, headache, muscle pain and pain at the injection site.
While the immune responses are encouraging, the scientists behind the trial cautioned it was not clear whether the levels they were seeing would actually protect against infection. A Phase 3 trial involving 30,000 volunteers is scheduled to start in less than two weeks. Moderna said if all goes well, it would be “on track to be able to deliver approximately 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, beginning in 2021.”
America’s top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci was optimistic. “So right away, I’m feeling much better about getting a vaccine that’s distributed not only within our country but then to be able to have doses for people throughout the world,” Fauci said during a Georgetown University webinar. He said the world should see a vaccine that protects people from Covid-19 within the next year to year and a half.
The Moderna vaccine is just one of at least 23 that are in human trials around the world. Another 140 are in preclinical trials, according to the World Health Organization.
However, some health experts have warned that a vaccine may not be the holy grail for eradicating the disease and ending the lockdown misery. Even if scientists succeed in finding a vaccine soon, it almost certainly won’t be 100% effective for everyone.