Following the outbreak of Coronavirus in December last year, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) had allocated $12.5 million to three medical firms to expedite the development of the vaccine of COVID-19; Moderna, Inovio, and University of Queensland.
Now, the researchers at Moderna are claiming that they have developed the COVID-19 vaccine at unprecedented speed and will soon begin clinical trials.
Moderna is a US-based biotechnology company that specializes in vaccine development by converting viral sequences into messenger RNA (mRNA).
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Moderna, Tal Zaks, says that the medical firm had already recruited volunteers for the clinical trials in the first week of March.
I don’t think proving the vaccine in an animal model is on the critical path to getting this to a clinical trial.
However, this is not the way how vaccine testing happens normally.
Medical firms around the globe are required to demonstrate before regulators that a newly developed vaccine has been tested and showed positive results in lab animals before testing it on human beings.
Apparently, researchers at Moderna seem to be rushing towards releasing the COVID-19 vaccine given the havoc the disease has wreaked across the globe so far.
Moderna’s decision to jump directly onto clinical trials has drawn mixed reactions from healthcare experts around the world.
Some suggest that the gravity of the Coronavirus pandemic is enough to justify the decision. While some hold the view that Moderna’s act is morally questionable as there will be unknown hazards for the human volunteers.
Akiko Iwasaki, a microbiologist at Yale University, termed Moderna’s decision as unusual.
It reflects the urgency to develop vaccines to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to latest updates, Coronavirus has swept across 159 countries, killing 6,684 and infecting 174,090 people.