COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), a coronavirus that is believed to have originated from bats in China, as it has close genetic similarity to bat coronaviruses.
One of the most effective ways to prevent a disease caused by a virus is the development of a vaccine. Vaccines typically contain the deactivated virus or specific elements that entice the immune system to develop antibodies against it. Antibodies bind to the viral units and help the immune system recognize and destroy them. Once a person produces antibodies, that person becomes immune to the virus for several months or years (if the capacity of the immune system allows it). Massive vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 could reduce or prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community, thus preventing future epidemics.
ModernaTX, together with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has organized a Phase 1, open-label, dose-ranging clinical trial of mRNA-1273 vaccine in 45 healthy males and non-pregnant females who are 18 to 55 years of age. This clinical trial is designed to assess the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of mRNA-1273. Primary and full study results are expected in June 2021.