“#Final test of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trial begins”
July 27, 2020 | 1:32pm | Updated July 27, 2020 | 1:32pm
A nurse gives volunteer Melissa Harting of Harpersville, NY, a test as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine enters its final stage.
Savannah, Georgia was the first trial site to get underway among more than several dozen across the country, according to Moderna.
Volunteers across the country won’t know if they’re getting the real vaccine or a dummy version. After two doses of the shot, researchers will keep a close eye on which group experiences more infections as they continue their daily routines — especially in areas of the country where the virus is surging.
Several other vaccines — made by China and the UK — began smaller final-stage tests in hard-hit countries, including Brazil, earlier this month. But all vaccines that might be used in the US need to be tested on American soil.
Now, every month though the fall, the government-funded COVID-19 Prevention Network will roll out a new study of a leading candidate — each one with 30,000 new volunteers.
The studies are required not only to test whether the shots work, but also to assess their safety.
Scientists will follow the same study rules for each trial, allowing scientists to ultimately compare each vaccination.
Jennifer Haller, a Seattle mother-of-two and the first healthy person to receive the experimental NIH vaccine back in March, said that participating in the trial “has given me a sense of, that I’m doing something.”
Since her vaccination in March, she’s been wearing a mask in public and taking the same distancing precautions advised for all members of the public.
“I don’t know what the chances are that this is the exact right vaccine,” she said. “But thank goodness that there are so many others out there battling this right now.”
In August, the final study of a vaccine from the UK’s Oxford University will begin. There are also plans to test candidates from Johnson & Johnson and Novavax in September and October, respectively.
Pfizer Inc. plans to conduct its own 30,000-person study over the summer.
With Post wires
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