Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine worked well in monkeys

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US biotech firm Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine induced a robust immune response and prevented the coronavirus from replicating in the noses and lungs of monkeys, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine said Tuesday.

The fact that the vaccine prevented the virus from replicating in the nose is seen as particularly crucial in preventing it from being transmitted onward to others.

The same outcome did not occur when the University of Oxford’s vaccine was tested on monkeys, though that vaccine did prevent the virus from entering the animals’ lungs and making them very sick.

In the Moderna animal study, three groups of eight rhesus macaques received either a placebo or the vaccine at two different dose levels — 10 micrograms and 100 micrograms.