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3 things to know about the potential COVID-19 vaccine

Many experts say the answer to stopping the coronavirus pandemic is a vaccine. Here are a few things to know about the potential vaccine.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Close-up medical syringe with a vaccine.

PHOENIX — Arizona is considered by many health experts a hot spot for the coronavirus as cases and deaths continue to rise in the state. 

Many health officials and experts say the answer to stopping the spread and saving lives is a vaccine that will help fight the virus. 

Researchers around the globe are racing to develop a vaccine. 

Here are a few things to know about the current development of the potentially life-saving vaccine. 

What is the vaccine supposed to do?

There is currently no vaccine available against COVID-19.

 According to researchers from the Mayo Clinic, the coronavirus has a "spike-like structure" called a S protein. Scientists say this protein is what attaches to human cells and is able to reproduce. A vaccine would help prevent this from happening. 

Another vaccine strategy some researchers are taking is to introduce small amounts of the virus into the human body to stimulate the immune system.  

How many companies are working on a vaccine?

At least nine pharmaceutical companies are developing a vaccine, according to a Forbes report from June

Moderna is in the final stages of their vaccine development and is looking for 30,000 volunteers from across the country to participate, including in the Valley.

RELATED: Volunteers needed for COVID-19 vaccine testing in Valley

Three Valley clinics will help with the research and they are in need of volunteers from the Phoenix area. The trial will begin July 27. 

German biotech firm BioNTech and U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer has made significant progress on a vaccine, NBC reported.    

Pfizer recently announced an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to deliver 100 million doses of the vaccine in 2021.

RELATED: US signs contract with Pfizer for 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

How long will it take to get a vaccine?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a COVID vaccine could be available within 6 to 12 months after human trials begin. However, with the urgency of the coronavirus pandemic a vaccine could be available sooner. 

RELATED: 1st COVID-19 vaccine in US boosted immune systems; headed to final test stage

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