Coronavirus

Brigham and Women's Researchers Testing Moderna's Vaccine Candidate

Cambridge-based Moderna's vaccine candidate is undergoing testing at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston

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Anthony Shivers is volunteering to be a part of what could be medical history.

Shivers is enrolled in the final-phase study for the vaccine candidate from Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

"If you're going to fight something," he said, "have something to fight with."

Dr. Lindsey Baden is the lead investigator of the study at Brigham and Women's Hospital, which, through the National Institutes of Health, is among the 100 research sites nationwide.

"There is a need to understand safety, and the way in which we do that is to conduct the studies as designed," Baden said.

The hospital is enrolling several hundred of the 30,000 volunteers needed nationwide and trying to include a diverse population.

"We want a vaccine that works for all, and we won't have that information unless we have various members from all communities involved," said Dr. Paulette Chandler, an epidemiologist at the Brigham and Women's.

Moderna reports that it has 94% enrollment as of last Friday, and that more than 19,000 have gotten the two doses needed.

Researchers are then monitoring participants for illness or the development of

Baden says so far there is no cause for concern. As for when the vaccine could seek FDA approval, he wants to avoid speculation.

"The science will guide us," Baden said. "We need to follow the science. If we short-circuit the scientific process, we do that with great risk."

Shivers got the second dose a month ago and says he feels fine.

"I just wanted to be part of the process," he said.

And he's hoping he'll be protected against the virus.

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