Vaccines train the immune system to recognize harmful viral particles and successfully attack and destroy them, preventing the possibility of future infection. The Moderna vaccine, known as mRNA-1273, is a lab-generated code snippet of coronavirus’s genetic material that helps boost the immune system to fight infection.
New trial participants will be randomly assigned to administer two injections of either a vaccine or a placebo in the biceps, 28 days apart. Volunteers will be monitored for any side effects and reactions and symptoms of COVID-19 for a period of 25 months, with six scheduled visits and 25 phone calls.
The researchers emphasized that COVID-19 could not be obtained from the vaccine and that they did not intentionally infect the participants with the virus.
Frey said it is important to continue to wear masks and practice away from society regardless of whether an individual volunteered to participate in the study.
“We don’t know if the vaccine will work – that’s why we’re testing it,” she said. “The truth of the matter is – people are exposed because they let their guard down.”
Even if the vaccine works, neither the nurse administering it or the study participant will know whether they received the empty vaccine or placebo.
For those who want to make a difference, participating in these trials is a way to help find a solution against COVID-19, Frey said.