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'This Is Enormous': 30,000 Americans Roll Up Their Sleeves for COVID Vaccine Trials

07-28-2020
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A person being injected as part of the first human trials in the UK to test a potential coronavirus vaccine, at Oxford University, England, April 23, 2020. The first vaccine trial for COVID-19 Coronavirus began Thursday. (Oxford University Pool via AP)
A person being injected as part of the first human trials in the UK to test a potential coronavirus vaccine, at Oxford University, England, April 23, 2020. The first vaccine trial for COVID-19 Coronavirus began Thursday. (Oxford University Pool via AP)

In the battle against COVID-19, volunteers have rolled up their sleeves to take part in the biggest test yet of an experimental vaccine. 

Moderna is now beginning its third and final phase of testing. Pfizer is close behind, and there is hope that by the end of the year, there will be two or three coronavirus vaccines ready for use.

"This is enormous," says Dr. Frank Eder of Meridian Clinical Research. "We've been sitting on the sidelines passively attempting to wear masks and social distance and not go out when it's not necessary. This is the first step of becoming active against this."

Roughly 30,000 Americans are expected to participate in both the Moderna and Pfizer trials.

Moderna Chairman Noubar Afeyan says, "Certainly we will be doing the tests in areas where there is a significant viral challenge so that the test can actually very quickly see whether we're giving the protection."

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Dr. Anthony Fauci says the trials "make me cautiously optimistic that we have something here, but it's going to take a few months to determine whether or not we do."

It will be months before results come in, and there is no guarantee the vaccines will ultimately work against the scourge that has killed over 650,000 people around the world, including almost 150,000 in the US.

President Trump says therapeutic treatments, like blood transfusions, could come even sooner:

"Therapeutics, meaning you go and you give somebody, whether it is transfusion or shots or whatever it may be. And they heal. And they heal quickly," he explained.

This new hope comes as Google seems to be betting on the pandemic continuing, announcing that most of its 200,000 employees and contractors should work from home through next June.

For now, any attempt at a return to normalcy is quite difficult to achieve. Just 72 hours after the shortened Major League Baseball season started, a pair of games scheduled for Monday night were postponed after more than a dozen members of the Miami Marlins baseball team and staff tested positive.

And across the country, citizens and business owners continue to be arrested for defying state ordered lockdowns and mask laws, like gym owners in Florida.

There's a new urgency to stop the spread of coronavirus with 30 million Americans set to lose their coronavirus unemployment benefit. The temporary $600 weekly check expires this week. 

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