Microsoft Employee Among First to Test COVID-19 Vaccine

Rodiano Bonacci
Marzo 29, 2020

A clinical trial to evaluate a vaccine created to protect against the new coronavirus will begin on Monday, the Associated Press reported, citing an unnamed USA government official.

Clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine being developed for the Coronavirus pandemic has started yesterday in the U.S., and a Microsoft network engineer has been one of the first to receive the experimental product. The institute, affiliated to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), has received approval to launch early-stage clinical trials of the vaccine.

The Phase 1 trial will involve three groups of 15 people aged between 18 and 55 who are healthy and live or work in Seattle.

Funding was also provided by the Oslo-based Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

According to Fauci, even if initial safety tests go well, it may take about a year to 18 months before any vaccine could be ready for public use. It will evaluate different doses of the experimental vaccine for safety and its ability to induce an immune response in participants. The spike binds to human cells, allowing the virus to gain entry.

The worldwide outbreak has sickened more than 156,000 people and left more than 5,800 dead.

The researchers were working on an investigational MERS vaccine targeting the spikes on the surface of the coronavirus, which provided a head-start for developing a vaccine candidate to protect against COVID-19.

China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences and the Hong Kong-based biotech firm CanSino Biologics will jointly conduct the trial.

But only randomised trials allow scientists to know for sure whether it really helps or whether patients would have recovered without it.

Emergent Biosolutions president Robert Kramer says a coronavirus vaccine could be in clinics within four months.

According to the World Health Organization, 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases are mild, 14 per cent are severe, and about five per cent are critical - resulting in severe respiratory illness that causes the lungs to fill with fluid which in turn prevents oxygen from reaching organs. In the USA, at least 3,847 people have been infected and at least 68 people have died.

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