Researchers in the United States working on the coronavirus causing COVID-19 have given a first dose for a possible vaccine to healthy volunteers in the city of Seattle.
The first clinical trial is being funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and includes 45 young, healthy volunteers who will receive different doses of the vaccine that was co-developed by the NIH and Moderna.
Biospace reports that the vaccine was developed from mRNA-1273 which encodes for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein.
The coronavirus vaccine is unlikely to be available soon although there are plans to get it in the market by June 2020.
Holly Fernandez Lynch, assistant professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, told STAT, “If we’re talking about us getting a vaccine in June of 2021 rather than March of 2021, that’s a much more uncertain scenario. We shouldn’t delude ourselves into thinking that skipping over steps is going to get a vaccine into our hands by next week or next month.”
More than 6,500 people worldwide have now died from the coronavirus, according to Reuters, with a total of 156 countries, outside China – the origin – reporting infections.
Three people have been infected in Nigeria, with the latest case confirmed in the early hours of Tuesday (March 17), according to Punch.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the affected person is a 30-year-old Nigerian lady, who returned from the United Kingdom on March 13.
The Ministry of Health said she is now at Mainland General Hospital receiving treatment.
Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs, releasing the virus packed in small droplets into the air. This then causes an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on then your eyes, nose or mouth.
Medical experts have advised the public to cough or sneeze into tissues, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, limiting contacts with others and avoiding handshakes.
Face masks do not effectively protect against the virus. Rather, experts have advised regular and thorough washing of hands with soap and water.