Experimental testing on humans of a new coronavirus vaccine began Monday, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced.

“Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent public health priority,” NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said in a statement. “This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal.”

The first phase of testing, which is being conducted at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, will focus on the safety of the vaccine. Later, they will examine the effectiveness of it.

Seattle was chosen as the test site due to Washington State being hit particularly hard by the virus. The state has reported the most deaths from coronavirus — 54, and has the second highest amount of cases (907 to date).


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The vaccine being tested was produced by Moderna Inc, which uses genetic material to develop vaccines. Part of the reason it was developed so quickly is because of previous research during the SARS and MERS outbreaks, two other types of coronaviruses.

Even if the vaccine is found to be safe and effective, it likely will not be available for at least a year.

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