The U.S. Army will start testing among adult volunteers an Army-developed Covid-19 vaccine that researchers say may protect against a variety of coronavirus variants.
Army doctors plan to start testing on Tuesday the protein-based shot in as many as 72 adults ages 18 to 55 at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Md., the institute said. The team will test whether the vaccine safely induces the desired immune response in study subjects.
Initial results of the study could become available by midsummer. If the data are positive, the Army likely would try to join with a drug company to further test and develop the vaccine, said Kayvon Modjarrad, director of the institute’s emerging infectious-disease branch.
The experimental shot is among dozens in development, many aimed at improving upon available shots. About 229 human vaccine trials are under way, according to BioCentury, which is tracking the efforts.
Next-generation Covid-19 vaccines could play a role in vaccinations if they are differentiated from the current crop, infectious-disease specialists and industry analysts say. Vaccines that trigger a different kind of immune response, or which have a different route of administration—such as a nasal spray or liquid formulation that can be swallowed—may prove useful as primary vaccinations outside the U.S. or as booster vaccines in the U.S.