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This Shot Could Be Milestone in Coronavirus Fight

It's the first given in a human trial, but experts caution any vaccine could be a year away
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2020 1:29 PM CDT

(Newser) – By all accounts, the world has a long wait before a workable coronavirus vaccine is ready. But on Monday, a potentially vital first step took place in Seattle. A technician jabbed 43-year-old Jennifer Haller with a needle, making her the first person to receive a shot in a test of an experimental vaccine, reports the AP. That a human trial has started already marks an incredibly fast turnaround, but Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health has warned that it could be 12 to 18 months before we see widespread use of any resulting vaccine—and that's only if things go well with the research. Still, he hailed the start of the Seattle trial as a significant development.

  • The vaccine: This one is from the biotech company Moderna of Massachusetts. The test is being conducted at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle, and 45 volunteers will get shots, per CNBC. They're not in danger of getting the coronavirus because the vaccine does not contain the virus itself.
  • Haller: The first recipient of a shot is an operations manager at a small tech firm and the mother of two teenagers. “We all feel so helpless," she tells the AP. "This is an amazing opportunity for me to do something." Her kids thinks it's "cool" she's taking part in the trial.

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