A lab technician Northwell Labs begins semi-automated testing for COVID-19 at Northwell Health Labs on March 11, 2020 in Lake Success, New York. (AFP photo)
The United States will begin testing a coronavirus vaccine on volunteer human subjects next week, a government official says.
The first participants will receive experimental doses on Monday in a trial funded by the National Institutes of Health, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Associate Press.
The testing will take place at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.
According to public health officials, it will take from a year up to 18 months to fully validate any potential vaccine.
Forty-five young, healthy volunteers will get different doses of shots co-developed by NIH and Moderna Inc, but none of them will get infected from the shots since they do not contain the virus itself.
The objective of the experiment is to check whether the vaccines show worrisome side effects or not, and if successful, it will set the stage for larger tests.
Currently, a number of pharmaceutical companies worldwide are working on a vaccine for the coronavirus, which so far has infected over 169,000 people and killed more than 6,500 around the world according to Johns Hopkins estimates.
Also, US biotechnology company Inovio Pharmaceuticals plans to begin safety tests of its vaccine candidate in April in a few dozen volunteers at the University of Pennsylvania and a testing center in Kansas City, Missouri. The test will be followed by a similar study in China and South Korea.
In the US, there are now 3,300 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and at least 65 people have died so far, according to data compiled by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Johns Hopkins University.
SOURCE: PRESS TV