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Moderna COVID-19 Variant Vaccine Candidate Begins Phase 1 Study

April 1, 2022 • 3:59 am CDT
(Precision Vaccinations)

The U.S. NIH recently announced an mRNA vaccine candidate designed to protect against a specific SARS-CoV-2 virus variant had launched a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating the vaccine candidate's safety and immunogenicity in adult volunteers.

The NIH-funded trial will enroll approximately 210 healthy adult volunteers at four clinical research sites in the U.S. (Atlanta, Cincinnati, Nashville, and Seattle).

The investigational vaccine, known as mRNA-1273.351, was developed by ModernaTX, Inc., based in Massachusetts.

"The B.1.351 SARS-CoV-2 variant, first identified in the Republic of South Africa, has been detected in at least nine states in the United States," said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., in an NIH press release issued on March 31, 2022.

"Preliminary data show that the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States should adequately protect against SARS-CoV-2 variants."

However, out of an abundance of caution, NIH/NIAID has continued its partnership with Moderna to evaluate this variant vaccine candidate if an updated vaccine is needed."

Investigators from the NIH/NIAID and Moderna co-developed the SpikeVax / mRNA-1273 vaccine, which the U.S. FDA currently authorizes for emergency use in the U.S. to prevent COVID-19 in adults 18 years of age and older.

Note: The NIH press release was edited for clarity and manually curated for mobile readers.