Health COVID-19 vaccine testing now underway with 30,000 volunteers

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The world's biggest COVID-19 vaccine study is now underway with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the U.S. government — one of several candidates in the final stretch of the global vaccine race.


There's still no guarantee that the experimental vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., will really protect against infection.

Volunteers won't know if they're getting the real shot or a placebo. After two doses, scientists will closely track which group experiences more infections as they go about their daily routines, especially in areas where the virus still is spreading unchecked. Dr. Stephen Hahn, the Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said Monday that testing is taking place at 89 sites across the country. At an event with Vice President Pence in Miami, he said that over 100 vaccines around the world are in different stages, and he expects at least two more to be in phase 2 in the coming weeks.

Several other vaccines made by China and by Britain's Oxford University began smaller final-stage tests in Brazil and other hard-hit countries earlier this month.

But the U.S. requires its own tests of any vaccine that might be used in the country and has set a high bar: Every month through fall, the government-funded COVID-19 Prevention Network will roll out a new study of a leading candidate — each one with 30,000 newly recruited volunteers.


Read more here. (CBS News)
 
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