Moderna, an American biotechnology company, has unveiled preliminary COVID-19 vaccine test results. Testing in mice showed that the drug does not increase the risk of a severe course of the disease, which scientists had previously worried about. New test results are published by bioRxiv.
Scientists from Massachusetts administered the drug to mice once or twice, as well as small doses, which are not enough to elicit a protective immune response. After this, the animals were infected with coronavirus. Experiments have shown that a single dose of the drug is sufficient to protect against a new virus. However, this does not mean that the vaccine will have a similar effect on the human body, the study notes. A human drug test is scheduled for July. The experiment will be attended by 30 thousand people.
Scientists feared that the vaccine could aggravate the course of the disease by analogy with the vaccine for the SARS virus, a close relative of COVID-19. Then it turned out that the vaccine increases the risk of a severe course of the disease, especially in people with weak immunity.
Moderna began testing the vaccine back in March, and in May reported a successful human trial. This is not the only organization in the United States that is testing the drug for the new coronavirus. Novavax also sponsors clinical trials, sponsored by billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates.
At least five other vaccines are in development elsewhere in the world, including China, the UK and Russia. According to the head of the Ministry of Health, Mikhail Murashko, several drugs from COVID-19 may appear in Russia at once – with different protection periods for different groups. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova announced the industrial production of the vaccine in September.