30,000 Participants Set To Take Part In NIH-Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Study

Screengrab / Al Jazeera English / YouTube

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The study will aim to find an effective vaccine to fight against coronavirus.

30,000 participants are set to take part in a study aimed at finding a suitable vaccine for coronavirus, according to a report by CBS News.

The test shots were created by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna.

Volunteers in the study will not know if they are receiving the real shot or a placebo. They will each receive two doses, and scientists will closely monitor which group experiences more infections as they go through their daily routines.

Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, confirmed that testing is occurring at 89 different locations across the US. He also recently stated that over 100 vaccines are in different stages across the globe, and he expects two more to be in phase two in coming weeks, at least.

Every month in the US, the government funded COVID-19 Prevention Network conducts a new study of a leading vaccine candidate with 30,000 newly recruited volunteers.

"These trials need to be multigenerational, they need to be multiethnic, they need to reflect the diversity of the United States population," said Dr. Larry Corey, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle.

In August, the final US study of Britain’s Oxford University’s vaccine is set to take place, followed by tests by Johnson & Johnson in September and Novavax in October.

In recent weeks, over 150,000 Americans filled out an online registry expressing interest in participating in the studies.

Normally it takes years to create a new vaccine, but these studies have shown that scientists are developing one for coronavirus in record time.

"I have never seen anything come together this way, as we have tried to do and are now doing, for the development of vaccines,” said Dr. Francis Collins, the NIH Director.

But, even if everything goes well, it will still be months for the first data to come in from the Moderna test, and then Oxford University’s.

The Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” hopes to have 300 million doses of a vaccine by January 2021.

Dr. Stephen Hoge, the president of Moderna in Massachusetts says he is “cautiously optimistic” that there will be data to prove an effective vaccine “toward the end of the year”.

Countries are stocking up on doses of leading vaccine candidates in the event of approval so that immunizations can begin immediately. Even so, the first doses are likely to be rationed according to highest at risk.

Read the full report here.

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