Covid-19: Moderna vaccine’s progress

Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine: Phase 1 trial results of the vaccine, mRNA-1273, were found to be positive. Look at what the vaccine is made up of and how it operates, what the experiments have shown, and what the other stages remain.

What is mRNA-1273?
The mRNA in the name means the messenger RNA that carries the genetic code for the coding of a particular protein. In this vaccine, the unique mRNA used codes for the most distinguishing characteristic of SARS-CoV2—the spike protein — which is also an appendage used by the virus to enter and replicate the cell.
The vaccine codes for the spike protein when injected into a human. Thus, even without the introduction of an attenuated (recognisable but not harmful) virus into the body , the body knows what the virus looks like and prepares itself with the antibodies needed to work against it.

What are the promising results?
Moderna has confirmed that the mRNA was able to display a degree of immune response when entering the body in the first eight patients. Tal Zaks, Chief Medical Officer of Moderna, told The Financial Times that the results showed that even lower doses induced a “immune response of magnitude due to natural infection.” “These data substantiate our assumption that mRNA-1273 has the ability to prevent Covid-19 disease,” he said. Among the side-effects reported were chills and a little redness in the place where the injection was administered.

Are these the final results of the trial before the vaccine is available?
Although the initial findings have given rise to optimism, it is important to remember that the actual vaccine could still be some time away and that there are manufacturing capability problems that need to be resolved before the world can actually expect to benefit from it.

When can the vaccine be realistically expected to be available?
According to the latest report filed by Moderna with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, “… a commercially available vaccine is not expected to be available for at least 12-18 months, it is conceivable that certain individuals, including health professionals, may have access to the vaccine in the form of emergency use by the fall of 2020.”

Will this vaccine reach India at all?
The Vaccine Alliance which have been working very closely with the Government of India on immunisation. Whether that will happen for the Covid vaccine, as and when it is developed, it is a bit too early to predict.

Moderna, meanwhile, is working on its manufacturing capacity.

“Moderna has already started to prepare for rapid acceleration of its manufacturing capabilities that could allow for the future manufacture of millions of doses should mRNA-1273 prove to be safe and of expected benefit.Refer

While a commercially-available vaccine is not likely to be available for at least 12-18 months, Moderna reported it is possible that under emergency use, a vaccine could be available to some people, possibly including healthcare professionals, in the fall of 2020

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