Research has proven that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine induced a robust immune response and prevented coronavirus from replicating in the noses and lungs of monkeys, indicating that it could work on humans too. In contrast, the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford did not give the same results. However, it still prevented the virus from getting in the monkey’s lungs and 'making them really sick'.
For the Moderna’s vaccine study, which has been published in New England Journals of medicine, three groups of eight rhesus macaques received either a placebo or vaccine at two different doze levels-10 micrograms of 100 micrograms. As per the study, four weeks after the monkeys received their second injection of Moderna’s vaccine, they were exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, both through the nose and directly to the lungs via a tube. Researchers found that, just after two days, the virus had stopped replicating in the lungs of the seven out of eight macaques in both low and high doses groups. In addendum, none of the eight macaques in the high dose groups had detectable levels of virus in their noses two days after exposure.
Later, researchers found that all vaccinated macaques produced a high level of neutralizing antibodies that attack part of SARS-CoV-2 used to invade cells. In contrast, monkeys who received a placebo showed the presence of the virus. In addendum, they also introduced the production of inbuilt immune cell T-cells that may help boost overall response to the virus. The research has given a ray of hope to researchers struggling to develop a vaccine. However, a major area of concern is that the vaccine under development could actually backfire rather than suppressing the disease.
Backing Moderna's vaccine, US President Donald Trump has said his country may provide a vaccine for novel coronavirus to other countries when it is ready. The American leader has previously expressed the possibility of a vaccine before the end of 2020. Speaking at a press briefing on July 28, Trump said that when they have a vaccine, it will be discharged and taken care of.
On July 27, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said that the US scientists have begun phase three trial of the potential vaccine developed by biotech company Moderna. The NIH reportedly plans to conduct the trial at multiple US clinics with the participation of approximately 30,000 adult volunteers who are not affected by COVID-19. The comes as AstraZeneca is conducting phase 3 trial of its vaccine.