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Massachusetts-based biotech firm Moderna said Monday that it created its first batch of mRNA-1273 to treat humans for the virus, and released it to officials at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.
“I want to thank the entire Moderna team for their extraordinary effort in responding to this global health emergency with record speed,” Juan Andres, the company’s chief technical operations and quality officer, said in a statement. “The collaboration with NIAID and with CEPI has allowed us to deliver a clinical batch in 42 days from sequence identification.”
The vaccine will not be immediately available to patients in the general public. The vaccine must be tested and the results of those tests need to be compared before it is released. How long that could take is not clear.
Moderna officials did not respond to a request for comment.
After the first reports of the outbreak in Wuhan, China, the number of confirmed cases has exploded worldwide. Officials estimate nearly 80,000 people have been infected.
According to recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 53 confirmed U.S. cases, including 44 Americans who were infected aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship and flown back to the United States to be quarantined and treated.
Health officials in China and around the world have been scrambling to find a way to combat the coronavirus. To date, the outbreak has killed more than 2,000 people.
On news of the vaccine, Moderna’s stock ticked up nearly 2 percent.