Title: An mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 — Preliminary Report
Author: Lisa A. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., Evan J. Anderson, M.D., et al.
Journal: The New England Journal of Medicine
Date: 11/12/2020
Tags: Corona Virus, mRNA Vaccine
Reviewer: MM
Link: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa2022483
Summary: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 commonly known as SARS-CoV-2 or Corona Virus for short emerged in 2019 and spread throughout the entire globe. In response, 120 candidate vaccines began development within the first 5 months of 2020 internationally, and one such vaccine is called mRNA-1273, short for messenger RNA. DNA is used to make RNA to make proteins which provide function among other things within the body. The mRNA injected via the vaccine codes for the well-known spike protein displayed on the outside of the actual virus that helps it enter our cells. The goal of the vaccine is to create memory T cells and antibodies in response to this spike protein without having actually contracted the virus, theoretically giving you immunity. This method is used for the Moderna developed vaccine. The study group conducted phase 1, varying doses on 45 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55. The mRNA doses were given 2 doses 28 days apart and included three 15 person groups of 25 μg, 100 μg, and 250 μg. The results showed antibody responses were higher with higher dosages for the initial dosage and serum-neutralizing activity was detected in all participants after the second dosage. Side effects were present and included fatigue, chills, headache, myalgia, and pain at the injection site for half of the participants and were more common after the second dose and more frequent with the higher dose group. These interim results displayed the mRNA-1273 as capable of inducing anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune response in all participants without trial-limiting safety concerns.

Limitations: The limitations for this specific study include but are not limited to sample size, duration of the study, and diversification of participants. Unfortunately, due to the necessity for a vaccine, preliminary reporting does not give us a clear indication of long-term issues with the vaccine per this study. Additionally, this study does not encompass a large sample size to rule out all vaccine candidates for possible complications. With a sample size of only 45 people for this preliminary study, the participants likely do not encompass unique circumstances such as pregnancy.