Are We Seeing Irrational Exuberance Over COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine News?
The Dow Jones surged 900 points today in response to positive news about a coronavirus candidate vaccine being developed by Moderna Therapeutics. Early this morning, the company reported that eight patients in a phase 1 safety trial of its vaccine generated neutralizing antibodies to the virus comparable to the levels found in people who had recovered from infection. Basically, the vaccine produces an immune response equal to that provoked by natural infection with the virus.
Moderna’s vaccine is based on a synthetic version of the messenger RNA (mRNA) that the coronavirus uses to construct the proteins that enable it to infect human cells. The injected mRNA tricks the body into making some of the viral proteins that then induce the immune system to produce antibodies in response to them. Antibodies bind themselves onto attacking viruses and bacteria, disabling them or marking them for death by other parts of the immune system, like the cell-devouring macrophages.
Moderna is not alone in pursuing an mRNA vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus. Its announced success
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