Experimental COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna, produces antibody responses against the coronavirus

  • Recently, an experimental COVID-19 vaccine that is being developed by US biotech firm Moderna was known to  induce antibody responses against the coronavirus
  • The antibody responses were developed in 45 participants of the vaccine’s human trial
  • The Moderna vaccine belongs to a new class of vaccine that uses genetic material to encode information needed to grow the virus’ spike protein

United States biotech firm, Moderna, which is currently developing an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, recently published their progress on the much-awaited vaccine for coronavirus.

Image from Philippine News Agency

The Moderna vaccine has induced antibody responses against the coronavirus in all 45 participants of a human trial. Moderna had previously conducted Phase 1 of the vaccine which revealed that it had generated immune responses in eight patients.

Though the Phase 1 is considered  “encouraging” by Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases official, the full study and development of the vaccine had been eagerly awaited by the scientific community.

Moderna then moved to the next stage of the vaccine’s human trial; this time, involving 600 people. 45 of these participants were split into three groups: 15 each to test doses of 25 micrograms, 100 micrograms and 250 micrograms. After 28 days, they were given a second dose.

Image from Freepik

At the first round of dose, higher level of doses is found to create higher level of antibodies. After the second round, participants had higher levels of antibodies than most patients who have COVID-19 and gone on to generate their own antibodies.

Even though half of the participants experienced mild or moderate side effects, the human trial was not called off. These side effects include fatigue, chills, headache, body ache, and pain at the injection site.

Image from Freepik

According to the paper that published the study,  the vaccine “is able to stimulate antibody production in a dose-dependent fashion.” Additionally, the generated antibodies were able to neutralize the virus.

This Moderna vaccine belongs to a new class of vaccine that uses genetic material,  in the form of RNA. This form can encode the information needed to grow the virus’ spike protein inside the human body. The spike protein is a part of the virus it uses to invade human cells, but by itself is relatively harmless.

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