Media Moves and News

Moderna begins final-stage Covid-19 vaccine tests

July 28, 2020

Posted by Irina Slav

Moderna and the National Institutes of Health yesterday began the final-stage tests of a vaccine candidate for the coronavirus causing Covid-19.

Lauran Neergaard, Michael Hill, Jocelyn Noveck reported the news for the AP:

The biggest test yet of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine got underway Monday with the first of some 30,000 Americans rolling up their sleeves to receive shots created by the U.S. government as part of the all-out global race to stop the pandemic.

Final-stage testing of the vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., began with volunteers at numerous sites around the U.S. given either a real dose or a dummy without being told which.

Susie Neilson from Business Insider noted:

A phase 3 trial is usually a drug or vaccine’s final test before it can be sold to the public. Phases 1 and 2, which typically involve giving the drug to smaller groups of volunteers, aim to show that a vaccine candidate generates an antibody response and is generally safe.

Phase 3 trials test a vaccine’s safety and efficacy on a larger number of people across multiple locations.

For Moderna’s trial, volunteers will receive two injections about 28 days apart. Half the participants will receive the vaccine candidate, and the other half will get a placebo. It’s a double-blind trial, which means neither the researchers nor the volunteers will know who got which doses. 

CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. and Will Feuer reported:

Moderna shares rose nearly 6% on Monday after the biotech company announced it received an additional $472 million from the U.S. government to support the development of its potential coronavirus vaccine. 

The additional funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will support Moderna’s late-stage development of its vaccine including the phase three study, which begins Monday and will include at least 30,000 participants. Moderna received $483 million from the federal agency in April. 

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