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A syringe containing either the vaccine or a placebo is prepared for a participant in a Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna at Accel Research Sites on August 4 in DeLand, Florida. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Moderna’s experimental coronavirus vaccine appears to be safe and elicits an immune response in all age groups, including the elderly, a company official said Wednesday.

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Data from the phase 1 safety trial of the vaccine showed only mild adverse effects, and generated an immune response in volunteers aged 18 to 71, Dr. Jacqueline Miller, therapeutic area head for infectious diseases at Moderna, told a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

The phase 1 trial was conducted in three age groups: 18 to 55, 56 to 70 and 71 plus years of age. Participants received two 100mg doses of the vaccine 28 days apart. 

Neutralizing antibodies — which inactivate the virus — were detected in all participants, including the upper age range, she told the meeting. All age groups also seemed to produce the same immune response — a good sign, as older people often have weaker responses to vaccines.

The most common adverse reactions were fatigue, chills, headache and myalgia. More reports of adverse symptoms were observed after the second dose of the vaccine, but the majority of symptoms resolved within two days. 

ACIP advises the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how vaccines should be used in the population.

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