Testing of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine is underway in the United States. Pfizer is working alongside German-based drug manufacturer BioNTech to bring the testing to the states after doing some preliminary studies in Europe.
The vaccine is being tested on healthy, younger adults in the U.S.
"With our unique and robust clinical study program underway, starting in Europe and now the U.S., we look forward to advancing quickly and collaboratively with our partners at BioNTech and regulatory authorities to bring a safe and efficacious vaccine to the patients who need it most," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a press release.
"The short, less than four-month timeframe in which we’ve been able to move from pre-clinical studies to human testing is extraordinary and further demonstrates our commitment to dedicating our best-in-class resources, from the lab to manufacturing and beyond, in the battle against COVID-19."
Pfizer said it is testing four versions of the vaccine side-by-side. "[This] allows for the evaluation of the various mRNA candidates simultaneously in order to identify the safest and potentially most efficacious candidate in a greater number of volunteers," the company said.
"It is encouraging that we have been able to leverage more than a decade of experience in developing our mRNA platforms to initiate a global clinical trial in multiple regions for our vaccine program in such a short period," Ugur Sahin CEO of BioNTech said.
"We are optimistic that advancing multiple vaccine candidates into human trials will allow us to identify the safest, most effective vaccination options against COVID-19."
Heath officials are urging people to remain in their homes as much as possible and avoid all social gatherings. Additionally, the CDC has issued some tips for helping to avoid contracting the disease.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.