Vaccine Tech 30 Years in the Making Is Getting Put to the Ultimate Test

A key set of entrants in the race to develop an effective COVID-19 vaccine use a genetic approach that has shown promising but preliminary results in human safety trials. Genetic vaccines, which have been in development for 30 years but have never undergone large-scale clinical trials or been used widely, differ from traditional vaccines, which inject a form of an actual pathogen to trigger an immune response. DNA and RNA vaccines can be developed much more quickly by using a small piece of genetic code to instruct a body's response. Initial human safety trials worked enough to move to large-scale tests.

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