WASHINGTON – As the world works to find a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, manufacturer Moderna says it is seeing promising results in human trials.
“Really good news for us and everybody that’s been watching this day,” said Dr. Tal Zaks, the Chief Medical Officer for Moderna.
The biotech company, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, measured antibodies in eight people it vaccinated, and all developed neutralizing antibodies.
“These antibodies were proven to be able to block the ability of the virus to infect cells,” explained Dr. Zaks. “We are already seeing an immune response at the level of people who’ve been infected with this virus and are believed now not to be susceptible to further disease.”
It’s encouraging, but we still don’t know if people who have been infected with the virus are immune from it in the future, so it’s not clear whether vaccination will provide total immunity.
So far, Moderna has vaccinated between 60 and 100 participants.
Starting in July the company plans begin to conduct large-scale clinical trials which typically consist of tens of thousands of people.
If those studies are successful, the company hopes to have a vaccine on the market between January and June of next year.
As researchers work at lightning fast speeds, medical experts caution, because it may be some time before a COVID-19 vaccine is perfected.