US begins first human trial of Covid-19 vaccine but results are unlikely to be certain

Covid-19 vaccine developed by biotech company Moderna and USA's National Institutes of Health (NIH) was tested on 45 healthy individuals, on Monday

Human trial of the Covid-19 vaccine, developed by Moderna Inc, was initiated on Monday, March 16, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, Washington.

USA's National Institute of Health (NIH) has fast-tracked vaccine development, as infection cases in the country has reached 4,718 along with 93 fatalities.

What is known about the Covid-19 vaccine trial by the USA?

Vaccine (Representational picture) Pixabay

The Phase-1 of the trial, led by Dr Lisa Jackson at Kaiser Health Institute, involved 45 healthy individuals, aged between 18 and 55. Study volunteers will receive two doses of the vaccine, 28 days apart.

The 45 individuals have been divided into three groups of fifteen. Each of these will receive different amounts of doses: 25 micrograms, 100 mcg and 250 mcg, on both occasions.

The vaccine contains genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA, CNBC reported. The mRNA is the genetic code that tells cells how to make a protein. This is set to instruct the body's own cellular mechanisms to mimic virus protein, thus developing anti-bodies, thereby boosting the body's immunity.

Why this trial isn't going to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic?

The vaccine trial conducted on healthy individuals, who aren't infected is to just ascertain that it doesn't cause any side-effects. It isn't to determine if it works as a cure for novel coronavirus. "Such tests are usually carried out on several dozen volunteers, who are usually very healthy people. If it is proven that the vaccine is safe and helps the [body] to produce antibodies against the virus, the company will be cleared for the next phase of the tests", Sergey Netesov, a Russian microbiologist, told RT.

According to Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the vaccine for public use will take at least 12 to 18 months to be produced. This is because, it takes a long time to make sure that the vaccine doesn't have an adverse effect, in the long-run. Thus, this trial wouldn't help against the Covid-19 pandemic, panning out in the world, presently.

Related topics : Coronavirus