Coronavirus vaccine trials start today in US

A clinical trial for a vaccine that aims to protect against the coronavirus will see participants receive the first dose today. Information on the coronavirus trial comes from a government official. The trial is being funded by the National Institutes of Health and takes place at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.

The government official who is speaking about the coronavirus vaccine trials did so anonymously as the trial had not been publicly announced. Public health officials have warned that it could take from 12 to 18 months to validate any potential vaccine for coronavirus fully. The trail is beginning with 45 young, healthy volunteers with different doses of a vaccine co-developed by NIH and Moderna Inc.

Officials say there is no chance that participants in the trial could get infected from the shots because the vaccine doesn't contain the virus itself. The goal of the trial is to ensure that the vaccine has no side effects that could cause issues. Currently, researchers around the globe are working on different types of vaccines against coronavirus/COVID-19. The research groups are pursuing different types of vaccines, including some developed from new technologies that are faster produced than traditional inoculations.

Some research groups are working on temporary vaccines that could help provide immunity for a month or two at a time while a longer-lasting vaccine is developed. The number of coronavirus cases in the United States is currently soaring, with nearly 1700 cases in the country as of March 14. New cases are being diagnosed at a rate of about 414 per day. As of March 14, 41 people have died in the United States. Globally more than 156,000 people are infected and over 5800 and dead.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals is looking to start a safety test its vaccine candidate next month with a few dozen volunteers at the University of Pennsylvania and a testing center in Kansas City, Missouri. A similar study will be conducted in China and South Korea. Officials warned that even if the initial safety tests go well, we are still looking at a 12 to 18 months before a vaccine could be ready for widespread use.