Vaccines train the immune system to recognize harmful virus particles and to attack and kill them successfully, preventing possible future infection. The Modern vaccine, called mRNA-1273, is a piece created by the coronavirus genetic material lab that makes the immune system fight infection.
New trial participants will be randomly assigned to receive two vaccine injections or a placebo in their upper arm, 28 days apart. Volunteers will be monitored for any side effects and reactions and symptoms of COVID-19 for a period of 25 months, with six scheduled clinic visits and 25 phone calls.
The researchers point out that it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine and that they do not seek to intentionally infect participants with the virus.
Frey said it is important to continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing regardless of whether an individual has volunteered in the study.
“We do not know if this vaccine works – that is why we are testing it,” she said. “The truth of the matter is – people get exposed because they let go of their guard.”
Even if the vaccine works, neither the nurse administering it nor the study participant will know if they received a vaccine or an empty placebo.
For people who want to help make a difference, participating in these trials is one way to help find a solution against COVID-19, Frey said.