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Vaccine For Novel Coronavirus Starts Animal Testing Trials

As per multiple sources that all cite information from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), a vaccine candidate that’s specially made to target the novel coronavirus reportedly started testing on animals just last week.

Candidate Vaccine

Co-developed by the CDC, Shanghai-based Tongji University School of Medicine and Stermirna Therapeutics Co., Ltd., samples of the mRNA vaccine were injected into more than 100 laboratory mice Sunday. Per Chinese media, this new candidate vaccine came just a mere two weeks after January 24, when scientists from the center were reportedly successful in isolating a strain from the new coronavirus for the first time ever.

However, an official from the CDC warned that while it has already started, the animal testing stage is still very much in its infancy. As such, it’s still going to take some time (and many more steps) before the vaccine will be ready for clinical human trials. Nevertheless, the scientists from the center are still working to create the vaccine as fast as they can, given that the epidemic is still very much going strong despite experiencing a decline in the new number of cases.

Furthermore, the CDC also reiterated that testing the vaccine in development on mice is only an initial screening for it. Once successful, it will then be tested on larger animals such as monkeys in order to make sure that the clinical human trials would go smoothly and safely, per the report released earlier this week, which cited a researcher from Tongji University.

With that in mind, the entire development and production cycle for the mRNA vaccine will still be shorter than that of traditional vaccines, given that it’s sorely needed now in order to reduce the amount of future potential casualties, if not completely stop them from happening. In addition, a number of research institutes from all over the world also started making efforts in order to quickly develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

So far, news reports confirmed that there are already 40,171 confirmed cases in China as of Sunday.

Wuhan Coronavirus Wuhan seafood market closed after the new coronavirus was detected there for the first time on January 1, 2020. SISTEMA 12/Wikimedia Commons

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