How the out-of-control pandemic is speeding the testing of vaccines

The aggressive spread of the coronavirus in the United States and other countries is accelerating the testing of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. COVID-19 vaccine trials are designed so that once a certain number of participants contract the disease, an independent panel of experts will conduct a preliminary examination of the data.

The aggressive spread of the coronavirus in the United States and other countries is accelerating the testing of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. COVID-19 vaccine trials are designed so that once a certain number of participants contract the disease, an independent panel of experts will conduct a preliminary examination of the data. That decision can be affected by other factors, such as the time since participants have been vaccinated. The trial ends after a certain number of cases is recorded, in an effort to ensure adequate statistical strength to determine how well the vaccine works. The surging pandemic could also streamline trials of COVID-19 treatments, such as Regeneron's antibody treatment. A company spokeswoman says enrollment in Regeneron's trial for patients who have not been hospitalized accelerated slightly this month. Johnson & Johnson is testing one version of its vaccine in the United States and other countries. The trials are set up or planned at more than 200 locations worldwide, including in 30 states. The company selected the locations partly by modeling the case numbers in different regions, according to Jake Sargent, a company spokesman. J&J said Monday it launched another trial of its vaccine, testing two doses instead of one. The company seeks to enroll 30,000 participants in Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Britain, and the United States.