The race to find a vaccine against COVID-19 continues. On Tuesday, Imperial College London stated that its researchers have administered its vaccine to one healthy volunteer.
The dosage was small, and the patient is now being closely monitored. At the moment, they are in good health and have chosen to remain anonymous.
SEE ALSO: OXFORD COVID-19 VACCINE TO BEGIN NEXT PHASES OF HUMAN TRIAL
Different type of vaccine
The Imperial trial is the first test of a new self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) technology. This tech will hopefully revolutionize the world of vaccines as it allows scientists to respond more quickly to new diseases.
Given to a person with a healthy immune system, the Imperial vaccine has proven to be safe and productive during its pre-clinical tests.
Dr Katrina Pollock, from Imperial’s Department of Infectious Disease and Chief Investigator of the study, said, "We have reached a significant milestone in this ground-breaking study with the first dose of a self-amplifying RNA vaccine delivered safely."
"We are now poised to test the vaccine in the dose evaluation phase before moving forward to evaluating it in larger numbers."
The volunteer was given a low dosage of the vaccine, with a booster follow-up in four weeks' time. A number of other healthy volunteers are waiting to also be given the first dosage of the trial vaccine in the upcoming days. The Imperial team will continue to closely monitor all participants, as well as look for any signs of antibodies against the coronavirus.
To begin with, the first trial will involve 15 volunteers who will be administered the low dose. Subsequent volunteers, up to 300, will receive higher dosages of the vaccine, so as to assess the safety and to figure out the perfect dosage amount required.
If all goes according to plan, larger trials will be carried out later this year.
Professor Fiona Watt, Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council, which helped with the funding of the trial, stated "This astonishingly fast vaccine development – compared to the years it normally takes – is a result of the remarkably hard and collaborative work of the scientists, trialists, and regulators."
"These human trials will contribute to global efforts to find a vaccine, which is our best hope for preventing COVID-19 and enabling life to return to normal."
Biotech firm Moderna is also carrying out vaccine trials, among others, and for any conspiracy theorists who believe vaccines are bad, Bill Gates has a few words to share on the topic.