The first experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. is on track to begin a huge study next month to prove if it really can fend off the coronavirus, while hard-hit Brazil is testing a different shot from China.
Where to do crucial, late-stage testing and how many volunteers are needed to roll up their sleeves are big worries for health officials as the virus spread starts tapering off in parts of the world; said an AP report:
Moderna Inc. said Thursday the vaccine it is developing with the National Institutes of Health will be tested in 30,000 people in the U.S. Some will get the real shot and some a dummy shot, as scientists carefully compare which group winds up with the most infections.
With far fewer COVID-19 cases in China, Sinovac Biotech turned to Brazil, the epicenter of Latin America’s outbreak, for at least part of its final testing.
Worldwide, about a dozen COVID-19 potential vaccines are in early stages of testing. The NIH expects to help several additional shots move into those final, large-scale studies this summer, including one made by Oxford University that’s also being tested in a few thousand volunteers in Brazil. There’s no guarantee any of the experimental shots will pan out.