Report: Coronavirus vaccine trial is ready to administer its first dose in Seattle

A color-coded scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow), the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, emerging from the surface of cells. (NIAID-RML Photo)

Seattle’s Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute plans to give an experimental dose of coronavirus vaccine to the first participant in a clinical trial on Monday, The Associated Press quotes a government official as saying.

  • Kaiser Permanente’s Phase 1 clinical trial is the first U.S. study focusing on a potential vaccine for the virus that so far has killed at least 69 Americans and more than 6,500 elsewhere in the world. The test makes use of Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine.
  • The call went out this month to recruit 45 healthy Seattle-area adults between 18 and 55 to participate in the study, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. During this phase of the trial, researchers only want to determine whether the RNA-based vaccine is safe. There’s no risk of infection with the virus at this stage.
  • Full validation of the vaccine is expected to take a year to 18 months. In the meantime, other research groups around the world are working to develop vaccines. One of those groups, at CureVac in Germany, has become the subject of a controversy over access to its vaccine.

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