Scientists in Seattle have made a STUDY that has been registering healthy adults for clinical trial testing for a vaccine that is created to battle the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The clinical trial has already commenced phase 1 with the first participant already receiving the novel vaccine. The scientists hope that the use of this vaccine can be perfected and released for the wider population to use.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID for short, is funding this trial. The NIAID is part of the National Institutes of Health and it’s based at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute (KPWHRI) located in Seattle.
Both the participants and the researchers will know what dosage was administered of the vaccine because it’s an open trial. The participants will be injected with two injections of the vaccine, each 28 days apart. For both instances, the participants will be injected with a 25 mcg, 100 mcg, or 250 mcg dose.
Anthony S. Fauci, the NIAID Director and M.D. made a STATEMENT saying that :
“Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent public health priority. This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal.”
As of right now, vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 do not exist. This pathogen is responsible for COVID-19. Patients infected with this virus show mild to severe respiratory problems. Vaccines deliver you a small and safe dose of the pathogen in the form of antigens into a person’s bloodstream. By introducing the immune system with the pathogen, it will start creating antibodies that will serve to fight off the pathogen in the future.
If the person ever infects himself with the pathogen, the body is well prepared with antibodies to fight off the disease before it can manifest. If we’re able to develop a safe vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, it can help prevent many deaths, especially in the most vulnerable population. It will help by giving their immune system an extra boost into fighting this virus.
Seattle’s trial will start with 45 healthy volunteers from 18-55 years old. These volunteers will be tested for about 6 weeks. This vaccine is called mRNA-1273 and it has been developed by NIAID scientists that worked together with Moderna, Inc. Moderna, Inc. is a biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The vaccine is also supported by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations for its Phase 1 clinical trial.
This vaccine builds on an mRNA (messenger RNA) which is a genetic platform that translates genetic codes that signals the synthesis of a protein. The vaccine has been discovered to activate cells to express a virus protein that provokes a vigorous immune reaction in animal models. However, this is the first time researchers are examining these responses in humans.
The production of the vaccine is from existing research in the structure of SARS and MERS which are related coronaviruses. Discovering the genetic information of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen can help the scientists understand and quickly build upon what makes the coronaviruses enter. That way they can help find a way to battle it and target it as a means of protection. NIAID’s Vaccine Research Centre and Moderna have been trying to investigate this method for vaccination. They have attempted to synthesize a prophylactic means of treatment for MERS.
Even though this is still a beginning in the fight against SARS-CoV-2, the trial will begin the chapter which will continue onto many chapters before it creates a safe vaccine for wider distribution. This could take a while before the mRNA-1273 is approved to be used. If you want to volunteer and join the study (remember, you must be aged 18 to 55) and do not have pre-existing medical conditions and live in the Seattle area, you can visit corona.kpwashingtonresearch.org and find out how to get involved.