The United States has entered the final phase of the world’s largest test for a COVID-19 vaccine. This stage of the trial will involve 30-thousand volunteers. Today, the first of those volunteers received the vaccine.

This particular vaccine is being developed by the National Institutes of Health in partnership with the biotech company, Moderna.

This final phase of the test involves giving people two doses of the experimental vaccine, while giving others dummy shots.  Scientists will track the groups to see who experiences more infections as they go about their daily routines, especially those located in areas where the virus is continuing to spread. The tests will take place at more than 80 sites across the country.

The testing of the NIH vaccine first began in March on 45 volunteers.  The shots speeded up their immune systems, and scientists expect that to be a sign of protection. There were a few minor side effects, including a brief fever, chills, and pain at the injection site.

There will be other large scale studies of leading vaccine candidates over the next few months. Each test will involve 30-thousand new volunteers.

Dr. Nandi, do officials expect any issues recruiting enough volunteers? And when do we expect results from the NIH vaccine test?

No, at this point, there isn’t any concern over recruiting enough volunteers.  More than 150-thousand Americans have already signed up online to participate in the studiesOfficials from Moderna are cautiously optimistic their vaccine will work, and they expect to have data from the tests to prove it by the end of the year.