Supported by a global coalition founded by India and Norway, the US has begun the phase one clinical trial of an investigational vaccine designed to protect against the coronavirus disease which has claimed the lives of over 7,000 people globally.

The trial began at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle as the first participant received the investigational vaccine.

“I’m pleased to report today that a vaccine candidate has begun the phase one clinical trial. This is one of the fastest vaccine development launches in history. Not even close. We’re also racing to develop antiviral therapies and other treatments,” Trump told reporters at a White House news conference on Monday.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is funding the trial. The open-label trial will enrol 45 healthy adult volunteers aged 18 to 55 years over approximately six weeks.

“Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent public health priority,” said NIAID Director Anthony S Fauci.

“This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step towards achieving that goal,” he said.

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