The dangerous and contagious novel coronavirus COVID-19 could have a vaccine sooner than we think! A potential vaccine for the disease could begin human trials "within a few weeks", and it will be ready for public use over the next 12 to 18 months. It is under development by US biotech company Moderna working together with the US National Institutes of Health.

coronavirus vaccine
Moderna, a US biotech company, is working on a vaccine which would start trials soon

This is earlier than the previous estimate that "it would take two to three months to have it in the first human," according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“I think we’re going to do better than that,” said Dr, Fauci, when briefing the US House Oversight and Reform Committee at a hearing. “I would hope within a few weeks we may be able to make an announcement to you all that we’ve given the first shot to the first person”.

How does the coronavirus vaccine work?

Dr. Fauci said this new vaccine would work by carrying genetic material called messenger RNA (mRNA) produced in a lab. mRNA is a genetic code with the role of getting cells to produce a particular protein. In this case, the mRNA was found in the outer coat of the novel coronavirus.

Coronavirus China lab testing
The vaccine lets your cells produce coronavirus proteins so your body can learn to fight them

The mRNA from the vaccine would get the human body's cells to make proteins that mimic COVID-19 proteins, which would allow the immune system to produce a response. Theoretically, this would let anyone who takes the vaccine to gain immunity to the virus that has been ravaging many countries!

But don't get your hopes up!

Dr. Fauci cautioned against the idea that a coronavirus vaccine is soon on the way to rescue us. He said: “I want to make sure people understand, and I’ve said that over and over again, that does not mean we have a vaccine that we can use”.

coronavirus vaccine
Making a vaccine that can be used en masse is very complex and takes a long time

“We mean it’s record time to get it tested. It’s going to take a year to a year and a half to really know if it works”. So while the testing procedure will accelerate, it would still take a significant amount of time for public use to be viable.

While everyone is eager for a vaccine to come out and help protect us against this unknown coronavirus, the reality is that making something like this is an incredibly complex process. In the meantime, there are very simple steps anyone can follow that greatly increase our chances of defending against the coronavirus.

coronavirus who instructions
Simple instruction like washing your hands carefully would really help with halting virus spread

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