Early on in the race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, a handful of brave volunteers opted to take an experimental version of the vaccine.
Moderna Therapeutics has confirmed they’ve entered Phase 2 of their clinical trial. This is significant because it means that the company’s first phase has passed safety checks.
The company has confirmed that on May 18, 8 out of 45 participants in the initial phase had produced antibodies as a result to be given the vaccine. However what is yet to be seen is if the participants were able to produce protective immunity. This factor goes beyond the presence of antibodies. However as antibodies are responsible for identifying and marking for removal the existence of intruders in the body, this is a promising result as vaccine development continues.
Moderna will now enter into phase 2 which means the company will be increasing the participant pool to 600 distributed across eight states in the US.
Immunization begins this Monday pending health screening checks for those who have already prequalified.
While the phase 1 trials passed certain safety checks there is still concern about one particular participant who reported fainting and fever while on the vaccine. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/26/he-experienced-a-severe-reaction-to-modernas-covid-19-vaccine-candidate-hes-still-a-believer.html
Ian Haydon, a 29-year-old from Seattle, reported developing a fever of 103 after his second dose of the vaccine. After being treated and released, he reported fainting at home. Haydon, understanding the nature of early testing of an unreleased vaccine shared his optimism of the progress of the vaccine:
“I understand that sharing the story, it's going to be frightening to some people," he said. "I hope that it doesn't fuel any sort of general antagonism towards vaccines in general or towards even this vaccine.”
Haydon added, “As we rush to get a vaccine developed as quickly as possible, the reality of vaccine development is that it can only be rushed so much and the trial still needs to take place....They have to move at the speed they move at. And stories like what happened to me, they matter because they shape the approval process.”