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Early Results Suggest COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise

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A new vaccine to fight COVID-19 provided promising results among the first 45 people it was tested on according to results published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The vaccine, mRNA-1273, was administered to healthy adults aged 18-55 in two doses, 28 days apart. No serious adverse effects were reported by the trial participants, though some reported fatigue, headache, chills or pain at the injection site. The vaccine prompted an immune system antibody response to the coronavirus in participants. It works by encouraging the development of antibodies which interact with the coronavirus spike protein.

This is an essential building block that is needed to move forward with the trials that could actually determine whether the vaccine does protect against infection. — Dr. Lisa Jackson, Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute

The Frontlines: The study, led by Lisa Jackson, M.D., MPH, of Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute and supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has grown to 120 participants, including people over age 55, since April. Results published Tuesday only include information for the initial cohort of 45 people. While there is no guarantee of a timeline there is hope of results toward the end of the year.

  • Nearly two dozen vaccines to treat COVID-19 are in testing stages worldwide. Britain and China are also working on vaccines that are in final testing stages
  • The vaccine showed promise in promoting the production of antibodies, a type of protein that identifies and attaches to outside threats (like a virus or bacteria) to help immune system fight off illness
  • With the latest vaccine results, it should be noted, however, that scientists are not yet certain how long antibodies last within the body or if they offer meaningful protection against the coronavirus

A Mighty Voice: COVID-19, even when it’s “mild,” can have a lasting impact. Our contributor, Mariana Solarte Caicedo shared what her mild-to-medium case of COVID was like. “I’ve been negative for 25 days today at the time of writing this. Still, I have diarrhea, strong headaches, night sweats, pain, fatigue (sometimes needing to take two or three naps a day), and difficulty breathing in and out.” You can submit your first person story, too.

From Our Community:

What helps me through …

Add Your Voice: Join The Mighty’s Coronavirus group by downloading our app or comment below.

Other things to know: Though the promise of a vaccine brings hope, right now we still have to adjust our lives for the very real threat COVID-19. Learn some ways others are managing new routines and mindsets to get by during this time:

How to take action: Several organizations and companies are working on developing vaccines to fight the coronavirus. Are you interested in participating in a clinical trial for one of the vaccines? Go to CoVPN Volunteer Screening Registry and take a short survey to be entered into a database of possible participants. They will ask questions about your work and living situation, as well as any symptoms you may have experienced. You must be 18 years or older to participate.

Header image via Teka77/Getty Images

Originally published: July 15, 2020
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