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Researchers Are Racing to Make a Coronavirus Vaccine. Will It Help? – The New York Times

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In the early days of January, as cases of a strange, pneumonia-like illness were reported in China, researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland readied themselves to hunt for a vaccine to prevent the new disease.

They had clues that a coronavirus, similar to ones that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003 and MERS in 2012, was the culprit. Dr. Barney Graham, deputy director of the Vaccine Research Center at the N.I.H, urged government scientists in China to share the genetic makeup of the virus so his team could begin its race to develop a vaccine.

On Friday, Jan. 10, the Chinese scientists posted the information on a public database. The next morning, Dr. Graham’s team was in the lab. And within hours, they had pinpointed the letters of the genetic code that could be used to make a vaccine.

Scientists in Australia and at least three companies — Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Therapeutics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals — are also working on vaccine candidates to stop the spread of the disease, which has infected about 6,000 people and killed more than 130.

“Everybody is trying to move as quickly as possible,” said Jacqueline Shea, the chief operating officer at…



Read More: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/28/health/coronavirus-vaccine.html

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Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/28/health/coronavirus-vaccine.html

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