This coronavirus vaccine has worked on every single volunteer so far

Andrew Cummings
July 16, 2020

Moderna and its partners in the federal government are just now gearing up for a late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial set to launch later this month, but at the same time, the mRNA biotech is prepping a supply of doses for quick shipment if the shot gets an FDA go-ahead. Two doses of vaccine prompted high levels of neutralizing antibody activity that were above the average values seen in convalescent sera obtained from persons with confirmed COVID-19 disease. "So the most important takeaway is that the 100-microgram dose, which is going into phase 3 trial, was safe", said Piper Sandler analyst Edward Tenthoff, who estimated the vaccine could generate revenues of $12.5 billion to $25 billion.

"The results are promising but obviously need further confirmation and elaboration in later-stage clinical trials", said Dr Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore.

The Moderna vaccine belongs to a new class of vaccine that uses genetic material - in the form of RNA - to encode the information needed to grow the virus's spike protein inside the human body, in order to trigger an immune response.


Blood samples taken from a group of United Kingdom volunteers given a dose of the vaccine showed that it stimulated the body to produce both antibodies and "killer T-cells", a senior source said. More than half of them had mild or moderate reactions such as headache, chills, muscle pains or fatigue. Half will get an injection containing 100 micrograms of the vaccine and the same dosage 28 days later.

The website lists 87 trial locations around the United States, including one in MA, at Brigham and Women's Hospital. These symptoms are consistent with a cold, the flu, and COVID-19. Participants will randomly receive either a low dose of the vaccine, a high dose or a placebo, and researchers will track the progress of all three groups.

Researchers hope the vaccine can be ready by October, if all goes well.


Speaking on ITV's Peston on Wednesday evening, Mr Hancock said: "We're all working towards the best case scenario, we're all giving AstraZeneca and the team at Oxford, and the Imperial vaccine, every possible support, we're working with the other potential vaccines around the world, in America, and Germany, and the Netherlands". It is one of the few vaccine projects producing this twin effect.

Moderna and its manufacturing partner, Lonza, are already working to produce millions of doses of the vaccine even though it hasn't been approved.


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