World’s Largest Coronavirus Vaccine Study to Begin in United States

Moderna Inc. and the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases’ Vaccine Research Center is set to begin the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccine study this week, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The study is entering Phase 3 and will have an expected 30,000 volunteers.

“We are grateful to the efforts of so many inside and outside the company to get us to this important milestone,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement. “We are indebted to the participants and investigators who now begin the work of the COVE (Coronavirus Efficacy) study itself. We look forward to this trial demonstrating the potential of our vaccine to prevent COVID-19, so that we can defeat this pandemic.”

Moderna is on track to be able to deliver approximately 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, beginning in 2021.

The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 138,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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