Moderna Inc. Begins Phase Three of Coronavirus Vaccine Trial

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Biotech company Moderna began dosing participants Monday in phase three of the clinical trial for its coronavirus vaccine candidate.

“The Phase III trial is called the COVE (Coronavirus Efficacy) study. The investigational vaccine directs the body’s cells to express the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to elicit a broad immune response,” Fox News reported.

The report continued:

The primary goal of the Phase III study is to prevent symptomatic COVID-19, with secondary goals including preventing severe COVID-19 (patients who need to be hospitalized) and preventing the infection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

In the randomized, placebo-controlled trial, volunteers will either get two intramuscular injections about 28 days apart of 100 micrograms of mRNA-1273 or two shots of a saline placebo.

The vaccine candidate will be tested at 89 U.S. clinical research sites and is expected to enroll approximately 30,000 adult volunteers who do not have the virus.

The company was pleased to begin the phase three study, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a Monday press release.

“We are grateful to the efforts of so many inside and outside the company to get us to this important milestone. We are indebted to the participants and investigators who now begin the work of the COVE study itself,” Bancel stated.

“We look forward to this trial demonstrating the potential of our vaccine to prevent COVID-19, so that we can defeat this pandemic,” she continued.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday that the Trump administration would pay pharmaceutical company Pfizer $2 billion to deliver 100 million doses of a vaccine by December to prevent coronavirus infections, according to Breitbart News.

“Now those would, of course, have to be safe and effective,” and also approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), he noted.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins said July 17 that if one of the vaccine trials was successful, “tens of millions of doses” would be available by the year’s end, Breitbart News reported.

“That’s never been done at this speed before. We’re not compromising on safety. We’ll be sure the thing works. But if it does, we’ll be ready to go for the highest-risk people, as soon as possible,” Collins stated.

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