Seattle-based COVID-19 vaccine trial shows promise

SEATTLE — Drugmaker Moderna announced promising results today in the first COVID-19 vaccine trial based in Seattle. The clinical trial at Kaiser Permanente is testing the vaccine made by Moderna.

Results show participants, even those given the lowest dose, had antibodies in their blood similar to someone who had coronavirus and recovered.

The vaccine does not contain live virus, but it includes a messenger RNA of the disease.

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Forty-five Seattle-area residents volunteered for the study. Jennifer Haller, 43, of Seattle, was first. She said it felt like a flu shot. Her only symptom was her arm was a little sore the next day.

She was pleased with the results announced today.

"To hear this one is showing positive results is really, really cool," said Haller. "I hope this can inspire others to consider stepping up, outside of themselves and looking for opportunities to help and using the privilege we have in ways to help others."

Neal Browning of Bothell is also in the clinical trial.

"I was ecstatic. I high-fived my finance," said Browning. "Just amazing to hear that kind of news."

"We don't know if it's going to make the spike proteins when we're given the vaccine. We don't know if the cells are producing the spike proteins, if our immune system is going to see it? And then if it does see it, is it going to make the right antibodies? It looks like we hit the jackpot; all three happened."

Moderna has FDA's approval for phase 2 of the trial. Phase 3 is expected to begin this summer.

Phase 2 will include 600 patients.

If it continues to show promise, Moderna announced the vaccine could be approved for emergency use for high -risk populations, such as first responders and medical professionals, as soon as in fall.