The first large-scale clinical trial of the covid-19 vaccine in the United States began on July 28, Beijing time. The first participant received an injection in Savannah, Georgia, on Monday morning.The vaccine, developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of health, will test the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine in 30000 people.
A total of $955 million of government funding for Moderna vaccine will be conducted in 89 sites in the United States. Moderna chief executive Stephane Bancel said in a conference call with government officials that if the trial is successful, the company is expected to produce 500 million doses of the vaccine by 2021.
Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the early results of the Moderna trial could be released in November or December. But he said the results could be announced as early as early as october if the recruitment of the pilot was progressing very quickly.
Fauci said the trial aims to prove that the vaccine is at least 60% effective in preventing covid-19.
Francis Collins, head of NIH, said it was "necessary" to ensure that participants came from different backgrounds. He said the NIH will track the diversity of subjects' backgrounds every week to make sure it attracts representatives of those in the United States who have been hardest hit by the virus.
Collins said at least three other phase 3 clinical trials are not far behind.
Shares of Cambridge, Massachusetts based Moderna rose 11% on Monday after it announced it would receive a second round of $472 million from the U.S. government.
The vaccine, developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of health, is one of more than 160 new coronal vaccines under development. The World Health Organization estimates that about 25 different vaccines are currently being tested in humans. The vaccine developed by Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer is one of the earliest varieties to show good immune response.