First Large Clinical Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine in US Could Begin in July

TOPSHOT – A researcher works on a vaccine against the new coronavirus COVID-19 at the Copenhagen’s University research lab in Copenhagen, Denmark, on March 23, 2020. – At Copenhagen university, a team of about 10 researchers is working around the clock to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 that could apply for clinical trial before within nine months. The vaccine will be based on two components : the protein which is on the surface of the coronavirus, called the spike protein that researchers express in the lab and then attach it on the surface of a virus-like particle. (Photo by Thibault Savary / AFP) (Photo by THIBAULT SAVARY/AFP via Getty Images)
Trial will assess effectiveness of vaccine, include 30,000 volunteers who will receive either vaccine or placebo

HealthDay News – A large clinical trial of the first US COVID-19 vaccine could begin next month, according to Moderna Inc., which developed the vaccine with the US National Institutes of Health.

The trial will assess whether the vaccine is effective and will include 30,000 volunteers who will receive either the vaccine or a placebo shot, the Associated Press reported. That trial cannot start until results of smaller, earlier-stage studies on safety and dosing are available, but Moderna said those studies are progressing well enough to start planning for the large trial.

About a dozen COVID-19 vaccines are in the early stages of testing worldwide, and the US National Institutes of Health expects to assist several more of them in conducting large, late-stage trials this summer, the AP reported. If all goes well, “there will be potential to get answers” on which vaccines work by the end of the year, John Mascola, MD, director of the NIH vaccine research center, told a meeting of the National Academy of Medicine on Wednesday.

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Hundreds of millions of doses of different vaccine candidates are being stockpiled by governments to use when/if scientists conclude that one is effective. The United States plans to have 300 million doses available by January, the AP reported.

AP News Article