The Latest on The COVID-19 Vaccine
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout New York and the rest of the country, we — here at Statcare — know you’re likely wondering about the COVID-19 vaccine and when it will be ready for U.S. citizens. Our goal is to keep our patients and their families up to date with the latest news about the vaccine. Here’s what we know so far:
Clinical Trials of The First Vaccine Candidate Have Started
Back in the beginning of March, the first vaccine candidate — Moderna’s mRNA-1273 — started at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. The trial, which is being funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has already dosed its first patient.
Due to the seriousness and scale of the coronavirus pandemic, many scientists and pharmaceutical companies around the nation have been quickly trying to produce a viable vaccine candidate of their own. Moderna’s candidate is, by far, the most promising given the speed at which clinical trials have been able to start. The trial itself will be split up into multiple phases.
During phase 1, 45 healthy adults ranging in ages, from 18 – 55, will be given two doses 28 days apart. The primary objective of the phase 1 trial is to ensure the safety and reactogenicity of a two-dose vaccination schedule. The second objective is the immunogenicity to SARS-CoV-2’ S-protein. After 12 months, each participant will be assessed during a follow-up visit.
Moderna is hopeful that the phase 1 trial will provide important information and are actively planning for a phase 2 trial, which will further evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the mRNA-1273 in a larger population.
The HHS is Speeding Up Clinical Trials & Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing
On March 30th, the HHS (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) took steps to expedite the development and manufacturing process of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.
Working with both Moderna and Janssen Research & Development, the HHS plans on supporting non-clinical studies and a Phase 1 clinical trial of an investigational vaccine by Janssen Research & Development called Ad26 SARS-CoV-2. The goal of the trial is to examine the safety of the vaccine and its ability to induce an immune response in healthy adult volunteers.
Set to start no later than this fall, Janssen aims to have the vaccine available for emergency use in the U.S. in early 2021. Development on the COVID-19 vaccine itself began back in February, and is using the same vaccine platform that was used to rapidly develop an investigational Ebola vaccine.
How to Get Tested for COVID-19
As of now, there are no known treatments or vaccines available for COVID-19. If you suspect you have the virus, you should be tested as soon as possible. At Statcare, we offer COVID-19 testing in New York City to patients who meet the criteria mandated by the NYS Department of Health.