Coronavirus vaccine trial begins in Seattle

Shot developed by Moderna Inc. and NIH will be tested on 45 healthy volunteers in Seattle on Monday

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Passenger prepares to board a flight out of Seattle amid concern surrounding the coronavirus
Passenger prepares to board a flight out of Seattle amid concern surrounding the coronavirus
(John Moore / Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 16, 2020 - 8:03pm

The clinical trial for a vaccine to protect against the novel coronavirus will begin today at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. Though the plan has not yet been officially announced, it is being funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The trial will begin with 45 young and healthy volunteers who will be receiving differing doses of the shots. The shots will not contain the virus itself, therefore eliminating the risk of giving the virus to participants.

Some researchers are looking into creating temporary vaccines, which would protect the health of individuals for four to eight weeks at a time, while a more permanent vaccine is developed.

Public health officials warn that the process for vaccine development will take at least a year, perhaps 18 months. President Trump said the work is “moving along very quickly” and that he hopes we will see a vaccine “relatively soon.”

Scientists across the globe have been testing a variety of drugs to combat the illness. Among them are the anti-retrovirals used to treat HIV, and a drug called remdesivir that was initially developed to treat Ebola.

There are now 3,000 confirmed cases in the United States, and the national death toll is more than 50.

The vast majority of people recover from the coronavirus.