US and China in the race for a coronavirus vaccine: human trials begin

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The United States and China have stepped on the gas this week in search of an effective vaccine to combat the coronavirus, which has caused a global pandemic. At the time of publication of this article, the number of confirmed infections worldwide is 200,515+ people, including 8,206+ deaths. 

In the last hours, news has come from both countries of important steps towards the achievement of a vaccine. But, beware, despite what has been said and read in various places throughout the day, no one has come up with a real, functional solution for now. No. The step taken, both in China and in the United States, sufficiently important in itself, is the fact of having obtained the necessary permits to carry out clinical trials with humans.

China announced Tuesday that the Academy of Military Medical Sciences had received permission to launch the first phase of clinical testing starting this week. In this first phase, as announced by the Chinese Communist Party, 108 healthy patients will be recruited to receive the vaccines between now and December 31, in order to verify that the vaccine is safe.

The clinical trials will be carried out by the aforementioned military medical institution in conjunction with the Hong Kong biotech company CanSino Biologics. This potential vaccine has been developed by a team led by epidemiologist Chen Wei, who says it meets “international standards” and that if the tests go well, it is “set up for large-scale production.”

The US has already started its tests

The United States has taken the lead, having already made the first experimental punctures. The building of a medical insurer in Seattle has been the scene of the first trials with a potential vaccine, named nRNA-1273, developed by Moderna, a Massachusetts biotech.

At the moment, they are in the same phase as the Chinese: testing healthy people to check medical safety. 45 volunteers will participate in this phase and will receive two doses, one month apart. According to the North American calculations, in the most optimistic scenario, that everything goes well in their project, the term for the worldwide availability of the vaccine would be 12 to 18 months from now.