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The first coronavirus vaccine is ready for human testing

Published Feb 25th, 2020 8:08PM EST
Coronavirus vaccine
Image: Kieran McManus/BPI/Shutterstock

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Fears over a larger global spread of the coronavirus

and its disease COVID-19 show no signs of slowing. Global economies are beginning to feel the pinch and even the 2020 Tokyo Olympics faces a possible cancellation. With all this going on, scientists have been working feverishly in the background to develop countermeasures to combat the virus, and one US biotech company says it might have the answer.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the firm called Moderna announced that it has developed a coronavirus vaccine that will soon be ready for human testing. The company, which produced the vaccine at its facilities in Massachusettes, has already provided the US government with samples for additional study.

According to the initial report, the vaccine requires two doses but is considered to be safe. It’s expected that the twin doses would protect an adult against a coronavirus infection. Based on the current timeline, the results of the human trials could be ready as early as July. This is a breakneck pace when it comes to vaccine development.

As exciting as this is, there are still a lot of questions left to be answered. First and foremost is whether the vaccine will work as intended and what the potential side effects are. Even if the vaccine proves to be effective with minimal side effects, it’s unclear exactly how long it would take for the vaccines to be approved for distribution and what strategy health officials might use to combat the spread of the virus using this new tool.

Even a best-case scenario could result in an approved vaccine not being ready for distribution until 2021. Health officials are having a hard time predicting how the virus will progress from week to week, so it’s anyone’s guess what the world might look like by the time the vaccine is ready and available.