January 2021. If all goes well, that could be the date when a coronavirus vaccine would be ready for distribution to the general public. At least that's what the managers of Moderna, an American biotechnology company that has been working with the US National Institute of Health (NIH), seem to think.

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This Monday, Moderna announced "very positive" results in its initial phase of clinical trials among a small number of volunteers.

"This is absolutely good news and news that we think many have been waiting for for quite some time. We've demonstrated that these antibodies, this immune response, can actually block the virus, " said Tal Zaks, the company's chief physician.

In the Moderna trial, the company applied a different dose of its vaccine to more than a dozen people. In 8 of the cases that they measured - to which a dose between 25 and 100 micrograms was applied - people developed a level of antibodies similar or higher than those developed by people who naturally became infected with the disease.

Another group, which received a higher dose (250 micrograms) ended up presenting symptoms similar to those produced by COVID-19. The results are part of the so-called Phase 1 of clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of a vaccine.

The NIH has already given Moderna the green light to start Phase 2 of its experiments, which includes the use of the vaccine among a group of 100 people or more. According to Moderna, the idea is to enter Phase 3 in July, when it would be administered to more than a thousand people.

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If there is no rollback, the product would be ready to be marketed between January and June 2021. The schedule given by Moderna is a little more broad than the one that President Donald Trump has been offering since he has said that the vaccine could be ready by the fall of this year.

Moderna's results, in any case, are preliminary and have not yet been evaluated by the bulk of the scientific community. It is also not clear, furthermore, whether the vaccine they are developing would offer immunity against possible reinfection.

Moderna, based in Massachusetts, is part of a group of companies in the USA that are receiving government funds to carry out experiments that lead to a vaccine and/or medicines to counteract the new coronavirus. In addition, it is included in the project ​'​Warp Speed' that was devised to produce a vaccine in record time.

Under normal conditions, vaccine development would take at least 18 months without taking into account the time of mass production and distribution. But under Warp Speed, ​​some of the requirements and standards that were previously used to ensure efficiency and safety have been removed.

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Globally, there are seven other companies or entities besides Moderna that have begun clinical trials with humans in search of a vaccine. Two of them, Pfizer and Inovio, are also in the US. Four more are based in China and one in the UK.

Stay tuned and check out our coronavirus section on GuruGamer.com for more news and updates on the complex developments of the dangerous new coronavirus, COVID-19.