Another promising coronavirus vaccine may be on the horizon, but it’s months away from being tested in people.
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson said on March 30 that it plans to begin testing a vaccine in human clinical trials no later than September. The company is partnering with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to speed the development of the vaccine. BARDA and Johnson & Johnson say they will commit $1 billion to the effort, which will include manufacturing more than a billion doses.
Meanwhile, another coronavirus vaccine trial is already underway. Emory University in Atlanta is looking for healthy people ages 18 to 55 to receive an experimental coronavirus vaccine as part of an early-stage study. The trial began in mid-March at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.
The vaccine in that study is being developed by biotech company Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. It is the first coronavirus vaccine to be tested in people.
That vaccine might be available to health care workers as soon as this fall, according to recent comments made by Moderna’s CEO. NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci has said it could take a year to a year and a half for a vaccine to become available to the general public.