COVID-19

These photos capture the world's first human trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine

A person peers through the blinds from inside the Life Care Center of Kirkland, the long-term care facility linked to several confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, in Kirkland, Washington, U.S. March 11, 2020.  REUTERS/Karen Ducey

A potential vaccine is in sight. Image: REUTERS/Karen Ducey

Sarah Al-Arshani Al-Arshani
Global News Fellow, Business Insider
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COVID-19

  • The first human clinical trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine was administered on Monday.
  • Four volunteers were given their first of two shots of the vaccine. Forty-five volunteers are expected to participate in this trial.
  • The vaccine won't be available to the general public for at least a year to see if it is both safe and effective.
  • The novel coronavirus, which causes the infectious disease known as COVID-19, has infected more than 182,000 worldwide and killed more than 7,100 people.

Four healthy people were the first to get a trial COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

A pharmacist gives Jennifer Haller the first shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
A pharmacist gives Jennifer Haller the first shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19. Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The vaccine was administered to patients at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.

A syringe containing the first shot given in the trial. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
A syringe containing the first shot given in the trial. Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Forty-five volunteers will be apart of the clinical trial. The volunteers who were selected were screened by Kaiser to not be sick nor have underlying health conditions. However, they were not screened for whether or not someone might have had a mild case of COVID-19.

Rebecca Sirull gets a shot of the new trial vaccine for COVID-19. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Rebecca Sirull gets a shot of the new trial vaccine for COVID-19. Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

It will take at least a year to 18 months to determine if a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is safe and effective, National Institutes of Health experts have said.

Jennifer Haller waits for her vaccine shot. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Jennifer Haller waits for her vaccine shot. Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Some of the participants may get a higher dosage of the vaccine, to see what dosage is most effective.

Pharmacist Michael Witte wears heavy gloves as he opens a frozen package of the potential vaccine for COVID-19. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Pharmacist Michael Witte wears heavy gloves as he opens a frozen package of the potential vaccine for COVID-19. Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Volunteers will be given two doses. The second dose will be administered a month after the first.

A tray with a syringe containing a shot that will be used in the clinical trial of the potential COVID-19 vaccine. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
A tray with a syringe containing a shot that will be used in the clinical trial of the potential COVID-19 vaccine. Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

This potential vaccine was developed by the National Institute of Health and the private biotech company Moderna.

Pharmacist Michael Witte takes a package of the potential vaccine out of a freezer. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Pharmacist Michael Witte takes a package of the potential vaccine out of a freezer. Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The vaccine was created in 42 days.

Neal Browning gets a shot of the potential vaccine. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Neal Browning gets a shot of the potential vaccine. Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The test vaccine works by producing harmless "spike" proteins, which will prompt the body to create antibodies. If a person were to be exposed to the real coronavirus, their body would be prepared to react quickly, as spike proteins are what allow the novel coronavirus to attach themselves to human cells.

Pharmacist Michael Witte opens a package that contains the potential vaccine for COVID-19. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Pharmacist Michael Witte opens a package that contains the potential vaccine for COVID-19. Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

If approved, it would be first to use just the virus' "messenger RNA" sequence and not the actual virus itself. The vaccine won't infect participants with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 since the vaccine doesn't use the virus.

Jennifer Haller talks to a pharmacists after she got her first shot. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Jennifer Haller talks to a pharmacists after she got her first shot. Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

While participants don't risk getting the virus, the safety of the vaccine is still unknown. Scientists don't know what the immune response to the test will be yet.

Pharmacist talk after prepping to administer the vaccine trial, AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Pharmacist talk after prepping to administer the vaccine trial. Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

While this is the first potential vaccine to make it into a clinical human trial, other vaccines are also underway. Before any vaccine becomes available to the general public, researchers have to be sure it is safe and effective.

Vials used by pharmacists to prepare syringes used on the first day of a first-stage safety study clinical trial of the potential vaccine for COVID-19. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Vials used by pharmacists to prepare syringes used on the first day of a first-stage safety study clinical trial of the potential vaccine for COVID-19. Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
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