The battle against the novel coronavirus rages across the world, yet we continue to get glimmers of hope. Scientists are at work researching at least 25 different potential vaccines, according to the World Health Organization. So far, the results show great promise.
The first phase in vaccine trials is known as Phase 1 and involves a clinical trial in which the vaccine is given to healthy participants to see if an immune response will be induced against the virus. A multitude of Phase 1 trials began in mid-March. The US government has put money in multiple vaccine contenders.
One vaccine, called mRNA-1273, is being developed in the US by scientists at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the biotech corporation Moderna. This vaccine employs two doses, each 28 days apart. The first study tested 45 healthy adults at testing sites in Atlanta and Seattle. It was generally well tolerated and increased antibody levels, comparable to the upper range of those found in people recovered from COVID-19.
The Phase 1 trial has been ongoing as volunteers continue to be tested and monitored. Moderna sponsored a larger clinical trial of Phase 2 with a greater sample size. Phase 3 is expected to start within a week, extending the participants to 30,000 and testing whether the vaccine will protect against COVID-19.
While the entire world is certainly in need of a vaccine, the United States currently has the most known cases at 4.2 million and counting. Florida, California, and Texas continue to see surging numbers. California has the most cases at 453,000, while Florida follows closely at 424,000 cases. Though if population is taken into account, California’s 39 million people compared to Florida’s 21 million people mean California has less cases per capita.
Unfortunately we will still have many months to wait before any vaccines are ready for mass consumption. Until then masks are the best tool at hand to prevent and slow the spread. We should embrace mask culture and find style in solidarity. It won’t be forever, but it will be for now!