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Emory team says early results from trials for potential COVID-19 vaccine look promising

Members of the team at Emory involved in the Moderna, NIAID vaccine trial said that they were 'pleasantly surprised.'

ATLANTA — Early results are in from a potential COVID-19 vaccine, and they are promising.

Dr. Nadine Rouphael, part of the team at Emory involved in the Moderna, NIAID vaccine trial said that they were "pleasantly surprised."

"The vaccine was well tolerated, and we’re also pleasantly surprised that it did induce immunity similar to convalescent people that recovered from the disease," Rouphael said.

In Phase 1 of the trial, there were 45 subjects - all of who between 18 and 55 years old. They were given the first dose in mid-March and the second dose four weeks later. 

Some side effects have been reported.

"We’ve had subjects mentioning pain at injection site and also systemic symptoms like fatigue, having some chills, having some headaches," Rouphael said. 

And while the side effects may sound like a COVID-19 infection, Rouphael said since the vaccine does not contain the live virus, the vaccine does not make the participants contagious.

Participants received different doses - some 100 micrograms, and others, 250 micrograms. 

Rouphael said since the neutralizing antibodies that resulted from both trial doses were similar, but side effects were worse in the 250 microgram dose, they will likely cap the dosage at 100 micrograms moving forward. 

Phase 2 is underway and Phase 3 will start later this month with 30,000 participants. They are still looking for volunteers from Atlanta and beyond.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information. 

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