On July 14, 2020, Lisa Jackson and co-workers published the results of a dose-ranging trial for an mRNA vaccine to prevent COVID-19 (Jackson LA, Anderson EJ, Rouphael NG, et al. A SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine—Preliminary Report. New England Journal of Medicine [preprint]).

Forty-five adults between 18 and 55 years of age were divided into three groups of 15 people each. Each group received two doses of vaccine separated by one month containing either 25 micrograms, 100 micrograms or 250 micrograms of messenger RNA (mRNA) that coded for the stabilized pre-fusion SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Antibodies directed against the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein are expected to neutralize virus infectivity.

Serum neutralizing antibodies were detected in all patients evaluated and compared favorably with levels of neutralizing antibodies induced by natural infection. Regarding safety, more than half of the patients experienced fatigue, chills, headache, muscle ache or fever. Systemic symptoms were more common after the second dose.

The degree to which neutralizing antibodies induced by this mRNA vaccine protect against disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 will only be determined after completion of phase 3 safety and efficacy trials, currently in progress.

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.