The first doses of an experimental coronavirus vaccine have been given out to volunteers on Monday in the United States.
U.S. researchers gave the first shot to the first person as they attempt to find a vaccine for the pandemic which has brought the world to a standstill.
The doses were administered by scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle.
AP quoted Kaiser Permanente study leader Dr. Lisa Jackson saying “We’re team coronavirus now. Everyone wants to do what they can in this emergency.”
The first volunteer for the experiment is an operations manager at a small tech company.
Three others also followed to take the doses for the test which would involve ultimately give 45 volunteers. Each person is taking two doses, a month apart.
“We all feel so helpless. This is an amazing opportunity for me to do something,” Jennifer Haller, 43, of Seattle, said as she awaited the shot, AP reported.
Monday’s experiment in the US is part of several global efforts to find a vaccine for the coronavirus.
According to officials there’s no chance participants could get infected from the shots, since they don’t contain the virus itself.
The goal is purely to check that the vaccines show no worrisome side effects, setting the stage for larger tests.
But health officials say it will take a year to 18 months to fully validate any potential vaccine.
Over 180,000 people have been infected by the virus with over 5,000 deaths so far.
In Africa, over 26 countries have reported of the virus with over 270 cases recorded so far in total.
Many African countries have imposed travel bans meant to prevent further spread of the coronavirus within their jurisdictions.
There are at least six deaths so far from the outbreak in Africa although the numbers are relatively low compared to other continents.
But travel bans have been enforced across many African states.