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30,000 Americans receive Covid-19 vaccine in major test

[July 27, 2020: Politico]


AP Photo/Hans Pennink

The biggest test yet of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine got underway Monday with the first of some 30,000 Americans rolling up their sleeves to receive shots created by the U.S. government as part of the all-out global race to stop the outbreak.


The glimmer of hope came even as Google, in one of the gloomiest assessments of the coronavirus's staying power from a major employer, decreed that most of its 200,000 employees and contractors should work from home through next June — a decision that could influence other big companies.


Final-stage testing of the vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., began with volunteers at numerous sites around the U.S. given either a real dose or a dummy without being told which.

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“I’m excited to be part of something like this. This is huge,” said Melissa Harting, a 36-year-old nurse who received an injection in Binghamton, New York. Especially with family members in front-line jobs that could expose them to the virus, she added, “doing our part to eradicate it is very important to me.”


It will be months before results trickle in, and there is no guarantee the vaccine will ultimately work against the scourge that has killed about 650,000 people around the world, including almost 150,000 in the U.S.


“We’ve been sitting on the sidelines passively attempting to wear our masks and social distance and not go out when it’s not necessary. This is the first step of becoming active against this,” researcher Dr. Frank Eder said at the trial site in Binghamton. “There’s really no other way to get past this.”.... MORE