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March 16, 2020
Contact: HHS Press Office
[email protected]

Secretary Azar Statement on Launch of Phase 1 COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

On Monday, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health announced that a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine designed to protect against COVID-19 has begun at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, funded by NIH.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar issued the following statement:

“President Trump’s bold, decisive actions at the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak bought the United States extremely valuable time to prepare, including kick-starting the development of vaccines and therapeutics through every possible avenue. Now, NIH and its partners have launched the first COVID-19 vaccine trial anywhere in the world, in record-breaking time. When the world faces a new public health threat, so often, American scientists and entrepreneurs have been the first to start uncovering ways to fight back. The President’s whole-of-government, whole-of-America approach is using our best minds and all the resources we have to protect the American people from this unprecedented threat.”

The study is evaluating different doses of the experimental vaccine for safety and its ability to induce an immune response in participants. The vaccine was developed by NIAID scientists and their collaborators at the biotechnology company Moderna, Inc.; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) supported the clinical manufacturing of the vaccine candidate.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: March 16, 2020

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