The World Health Organization says at least 20 coronavirus vaccines are currently under development in the global race for a cure.
The first human test, by the modern biotech company “Moderna” in Boston, is already underway.
“Going from not even knowing that this virus was out there, which we identified as a cause of infection in China in January, to take any vaccine that we can actually start a clinical trial in about two months is unprecedented,” he said. Dr. Lisa Jackson, a Kaiser Permanente investigator who leads the first human trial.
This extraordinary speed is largely due to early Chinese efforts to sequence the genetic material of the virus that caused COVID-19.
China shared this information in early January, allowing researchers around the world to replicate the virus and study how it invades human cells and infects people.
Jennifer Haller was the first person to be injected with the experimental vaccine. “Everyone is feeling so helpless now,” said Haller. “And I realized that there was something I could do to help, and I’m excited to be here.”
Experts say it could still take about 18 months for any potential vaccine to be available to the general public.
Last week, China also approved the start of clinical trials with a vaccine.