Greater news on vaccines, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted as Biotech firm Moderna Inc's experimental vaccine for COVID-19 showed it was safe and provoked immune responses in all 45 health volunteers in an ongoing early stage.
Published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the initial findings are from the first 45 participants of ages 18 to 55 years enrolled at the study sites in Seattle and at Emory University in the U.S. According to the study, the investigational vaccine -- mRNA-1273 -- induced immune responses against coronavirus SARS-CoV2 in all participants, "and no trial-limiting safety concerns were identified".
Led by Lisa A. Jackson from Washington Health Research Institute in the US, the researchers said mRNA-1273is designed to induce neutralizing antibodies directed at a portion of the novel coronavirus "spike" protein, which the virus uses to bind to and enter human cells. They said it is being co-developed by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and at Moderna, Inc.
As part of the study, three groups of 15 participants received two intramuscular injections, 28 days apart, of either 25, 100, or 250 microgrammes (mcg) of the investigational vaccine. All the participants received one injection, and 42 received both scheduled injections. They said in April the trial was expanded to enrol adults older than age 55 years, with 120 individual participating now. However, the researchers said the newly published results cover only the 18 to 55-year age group.
No serious adverse events were reported from the use of the experimental vaccine. The scientists said more than half of the participants reported fatigue, headache, chills, myalgia or pain at the injection site. They said that systemic adverse events were more common following the second vaccination, and in those who received the highest vaccine dose.