CAMBRIDGE (CBS/AP) – The world’s biggest coronavirus vaccine study is on track to complete enrollment of all 30,000 volunteers by next month, Cambridge-based Moderna said Wednesday.

The first volunteers began getting shots of the experimental vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna, on July 27.

Volunteers won’t know if they’re getting the real shot or a dummy version. After two doses given 28 days apart, scientists will closely track which group experiences more infections as they go about their daily routines, especially in areas where the virus still is spreading unchecked.

There are more than seven dozen trial sites scattered around the country. Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is one of them. The estimated time commitment is seven visits in two years.

Read: How To Volunteer

The World Health Organization said Moderna’s candidate vaccine is one of 25 under clinical evaluation around the world. Researchers say it will take months for the first data to trickle in from the Moderna test.

Governments around the world are trying to stockpile millions of doses of the leading candidates so if and when regulators approve one or more vaccines, immunizations can begin immediately. But the first available doses will be rationed, presumably reserved for people at highest risk from the virus.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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