A Phase-1 clinical trial on 45 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 years has begun in Seattle, U.S.
Different vaccine approaches are being undertaken against the novel coronavirus
More than 11,402 people have succumbed to the pandemic worldwide so far
The vaccine that is being tested in the U.S. is called mRNA (or messenger ribonucleic acid)-1273
It has been developed in partnership with the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) ..
...and their collaborators at the biotechnology company Moderna, Inc. based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
According to the World Health Organization, over 40 different candidate vaccines for COVID-19 are in development.
These include an inactivated vaccine being developed in China (Sinovac) using purified COVID-19 virus killed with formaldehyde (a chemical).
A live attenuated vaccine being developed by Codagenix, uses a genetically engineered COVID-19 virus that replicates very poorly.
There are multiple other vaccine candidates under development that use DNA, RNA, viral vector and subunit protein platforms.
An experimental COVID-19 vaccine called mRNA-1273 was developed by Moderna
Phase 1 study to evaluate its safety and immunogenicity (i.e. ability to raise immune responses) in humans is being conducted by the NIH.
The novel coronavirus causing pneumonia in Wuhan, China was identified on January 7; China shared its genetic sequence on January 12.
On February 24, the mRNA-1273 vaccine was sent to NIH for human testing and on March 16, it was given to the first set of human volunteers.
Never before has a candidate vaccine been developed so quickly from sequence to product in 42 days and start of testing in 63 days.
The mRNA-1273 is a piece of RNA that carries the code to make the COVID-19 virus Spike protein when introduced into cells.
The COVID-19 vaccine has been fast-tracked into humans without prior testing in animals.
Still, it may take one to two years for the clinical trials to be over.