COVID-19 Vaccine Enters Next Phase of Testing

A COVID-19 vaccine, developed by biotechnical company Moderna in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, has entered a Phase 3 large-scale US clinical trial. The tests will include 30,000 participants, half receiving the vaccine and half receiving a placebo. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer also announced a 30,000-person vaccine trial at 120 sites worldwide.

According to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, researchers should be able to tell if the Moderna vaccine is effective by November or December. Phase 3 is designed to test both safety and effectiveness. Fauci explained that this is the fastest instance in the United States of moving from basic development to a Phase 3 trial.

The trials will take some time as both vaccines being tested require two rounds of doses spaced several weeks apart. Other factors can also contribute to how long the trials will take, including how fast the trials can recruit participants and how long it takes for enough people to get infected to observe whether or not the vaccine has an effect.