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COVID-19 vaccine fast-tracked for summer trials

Moderna drug development
Moderna is pioneering a new class of medicines, including vaccines, that make use of messenger RNA. (Moderna via YouTube)

The coronavirus vaccine trial that started out in Seattle is progressing well enough to get onto Food and Drug Administration’s fast track for development, with planning well underway for the next two phases of testing.

Seattle’s Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute kicked off the Phase I clinical trial, which focuses on ensuring that the vaccine is safe for humans.

The first participants got their shots in mid-March, and last month, the trial was expanded to Emory University in Atlanta and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Vaccine Research Clinic in Bethesda, Md. NIAID is funding the trial, and the vaccine was developed by Moderna Therapeutics.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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