Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Shows Promising Early Results

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The company said its preliminary test 8 healthy volunteers was safe. It is on an accelerated timetable to begin a larger human trial soon.

The first coronavirus vaccine to be tested in people appears to be safe and able to stimulate an immune response against the virus, its manufacturer, Moderna, announced on Monday.

The findings are based on results from the first eight people who each received two doses of the experimental vaccine, starting in March.

Those people, healthy volunteers ages 18 to 55, made antibodies that were then tested in infected cells in the lab, and were able to stop the virus from replicating — the key requirement for an effective vaccine. The levels of those so-called neutralizing antibodies matched or exceeded the levels found in patients who had recovered after contracting the virus in the community.

Though encouraging, the findings do not prove that the vaccine works. Only larger, longer studies can determine whether it can actually prevent people in the real world from getting sick. Moderna’s technology, involving genetic material from the virus called mRNA, is relatively new and has yet to produce any approved vaccine.

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