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Results from COVID-19 vaccine look ‘really encouraging,’ NIH boss Dr. Francis Collins says

Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, told Time magazine that the vaccine tests have looked good for now.

SHARE Results from COVID-19 vaccine look ‘really encouraging,’ NIH boss Dr. Francis Collins says
Visitors to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City walk past signs offering information about masks for those who are experiencing fever, cough or difficulty breathing on Monday, March 9, 2020. The hospital is preparing for potential COVID-19 patients.

Visitors to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City walk past signs offering information about masks for those who are experiencing fever, cough or difficulty breathing on Monday, March 9, 2020. The hospital is preparing for potential COVID-19 patients.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, said the early data from a COVID-19 vaccine trial is looking “really encouraging” for protecting against the novel coronavirus.

Francis told Time magazine: “The Phase I data … looks really encouraging that these are vaccines that generate strong antibody responses.”

The vaccine will likely undergo three test phases. The first often requires a trial treatment for a few people.

Collins told Time magazine that — like Dr. Anthony Fauci — he has hope there will be a vaccine by the end of 2020, if not early 2021.

But CollIns said the U.S. could have been in a better spot by now if the country had anticipated a pandemic.

“Now with a different coronavirus, knowing exactly what steps to take is why it got going so quickly,” Collins told Time magazine. “But I think it’s also fair to say that we could have been in a better place if we’d been fully expecting this time a global pandemic. Maybe we’ll learn the lessons a little better and avoid sinking back into complacency in ’21 and ’22.”

Earlier this week, the first COVID-19 vaccine tested in the U.S. “revved up people’s immune systems” just like scientists had hoped it would, as I wrote about for Deseret.com.

The vaccine — from Moderna — found antibody responses against the coronavirus in all of the human participants.

More research and trials will need to be done. But, it’s encouraging news.

“No matter how you slice this, this is good news,” Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press.