Coronavirus Outbreak: Trails have begun for first experimental vaccine to treat COVID-19
U.S. researchers gave the first shots in a first test of an experimental coronavirus vaccine Monday, leading off a worldwide hunt for protection even as the pandemic surges.
With careful jabs in the arms of four healthy volunteers, scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle began an anxiously awaited first-stage study of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed in record time after the new virus exploded out of China and fanned out across the globe.
“We’re team coronavirus now,” Kaiser Permanente study leader Dr Lisa Jackson said on the eve of the experiment. “Everyone wants to do what they can in this emergency.”
The Associated Press observed as the study’s first participant, an operations manager at a small tech company, received the injection in an exam room.
“We all feel so helpless. This is an amazing opportunity for me to do something,” Jennifer Haller, 43, of Seattle said before getting vaccinated. Her two teenagers “think it’s cool” that she’s taking part in the study.
After the injection, she left the exam room with a big smile: “I’m feeling great.”
Three others were next in line for a test that will ultimately give 45 volunteers two doses, a month apart.
Neal Browning, 46, of Bothell, Washington, is a Microsoft network engineer who says his young daughters are proud he volunteered.
“Every parent wants their children to look up to them,” he said. But he’s told them not to brag to their friends. “It’s other people, too. It’s not just Dad out there.”