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Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate produced protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers, according to its data.

The data was obtained through the eight people who took part in a 45-subject safety trial that commenced back in March. The study showed that the participants who received a 100 microgram dose and people who received a 25 microgram dose had levels of protective antibodies against the virus that exceeded those found in the blood of people who recovered from COVID-19.

Infectious disease expert from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Dr. Amesh Adalja said that although these findings are great it does not show the efficacy of the vaccine but only the safety. However, this still shows that this vaccine can have the potential against COVID-19.

The vaccine is said to commence the second stage of human testing soon. In its Phase II trials, it will be designed to further test the effectiveness and find the optimal dose, Moderna said it will drop plans to test a 250 mcg dose and test a 50 mcg dose instead.

BARDA has placed funding of $483 million on Moderna back in April and will enable them to supply millions of doses per month in 2020 and, with further investments, tens of millions a month in 2021 if the vaccine proves successful.

There are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for COVID-19, and experts predict a safe and effective vaccine could take 12 to 18 months from the start of development, which in Moderna’s case was in January.

(Source: Channel News Asia, 2020)