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World’s biggest Covid-19 vaccine study enters phase 3, Here’s how the vaccine works

Vishnu Vasisht

American Biotechnology Company Moderna Inc., which is involved in the vaccination of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), has started the third phase of the human trial of the Coronavirus vaccine candidate (mRNA-1273) from 27 July.

For this, the company will get an additional $472 million from the US government's Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority (BARDA) .

In a press release issued by the company, it has been announced that Phase 3 study is being done in collaboration with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

About 30 thousand people are to be included in the randomized placebo-controlled trial of the vaccine.

mRNA - or messenger RNA - is a molecule made up of nucleotides linked in a particular sequence to send genetic information to cells in order to produce proteins or antigens encoded by mRNA.

Once the mRNA of the vaccine enters the body's cells, the cells produce the antigen encoded by the mRNA vaccine. Antigens then appear on the surface of the cell, the body's immune system recognizes and reacts, including the production of antibodies against the antigen.

The mRNA in this candidate vaccine instructs cells to make the same protein (spike protein) that scientists have identified on the virus. At the same time, the results of Phase 1 of this vaccine have been good. An early stage (Phase 1) report published in The New England Journal of Medicine states that the vaccine produced antibodies that could neutralize the coronavirus.

The government hopes that its results will be revealed by the end of the year. It is necessary to give two doses of this vaccine at a difference of one month. It has no serious side effects.

The company has said that it will try to make about 500 million doses of Coronavirus vaccine or about 1 billion doses every year from 2021.

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