The Hindu|March 22, 2020
The story so far:
A Phase-1 clinical trial on 45 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 years has begun in Seattle, U.S., about 100 days after the whole genome sequence of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was shared by Chinese researchers. Different vaccine approaches are being undertaken against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) even as 11,402 people have succumbed to the pandemic worldwide so far (March 21, 3.40 p.m.). The vaccine that is being tested in the U.S. is called mRNA (or messenger ribonucleic acid)-1273 and developed in partnership with the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborators at the biotechnology company Moderna, Inc. based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
What are vaccines? How are these made?
Vaccines are one of the most effective tools to prevent diseases. A vaccine is a substance that resembles the disease-causing agent (also called pathogen) but does not cause the disease. It trains the body’s immune system to recognise and kill the pathogen, and creates a memory for the future. Vaccines are available to protect us against many life-threatening diseases such as polio, influenza, meningitis, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, and certain types of cancers. Vaccines have also been responsible for eradication (or near eradication) of deadly diseases such as smallpox and polio.
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March 22, 2020