Inside the Company That ’s Hot Wiring Vaccine Research in the Race to Combat the Coronavirus

Three months. That’s as long as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, is willing to wait to get a vaccine candidate against the latest coronavirus that he can start testing in people. Since the virus was identified for the first time in people who fell ill with pneumonia-like symptoms in Wuhan, China, last December, the World Health Organization has declared this coronavirus outbreak, named 2019n-CoV, a public health emergency of international concern. In just over a month, more 11,000 people have tested positive for the virus in 18 countries, and more than 250 have died. When it comes to infectious diseases like this one, vaccines are the strongest weapons that health officials have. Getting vaccinated can protect people from getting infected in the first place, and if viruses or bacteria have nowhere to go, they have no way to spread from person to person. The problem is, vaccines take time to develop. Traditional methods, while extremely effective in controlling highly contagious diseases like measles, require growing large amounts of virus or bacteria, which takes months. Those microbes then become the key element in a vaccine — the so-called antigen that alerts the human immune system that some foreign interlopers have invaded the body and need to be evicted. However, researchers at Moderna Therapeutics, Cambridge, Mass., have developed a potential shortcut to this labor...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized 2019-nCoV coronavirus Infectious Disease Source Type: news

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