The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine for COVID-19 has begun at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle, Washington. Forty-five healthy adult volunteers ages 18 through 55 will enroll in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) funded trial that will last approximately six weeks. The first participant of the trial received the vaccine today.
The vaccine is called mRNA-1273 and was developed by NIAID scientists in collaboration with Moderna, Inc. The NIH notes that the study is evaluating different doses (25 mcg, 100 mcg, and 250 mcg) of the experimental vaccine for safety and its ability to induce an immune response in participants. Participants will receive two doses of the vaccine, approximately 28 days apart, and clinicians will monitor the participants for the span of a year.
NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that due to existing studies related to coronaviruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) scientists were able to launch this Phase 1 trial in record speed. The announcement did not provide a timeline for when a vaccine would be available for the general public.