The first human participant in a clinical trial for a vaccine to protect against the new coronavirus will receive an experimental dose on Monday the AP reportsThe trial, which is being funded by the National Institutes of Health, will take 45 young, healthy volunteers whom will receive different doses of shots co-developed by the NIH and the Massachusetts-based biotech firm Moderna Inc.

The vaccine study will not infect patients with the virus itself though. Rather, it will be “similar to investigational mRNA vaccines developed for the Zika virus and human metapneumovirus that have been tested in humans.” In other words, the goal is to determine whether the vaccine comes with any problematic side effects, eventually setting the stage for larger, more expansive testing down the road. 

The testing is set to occur at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle. Kaiser is one of at least nine other companies working to develop a coronavirus vaccine, including Gilead Sciences, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, and Johnson & Johnson among others. 

The expectation is that the vaccine will take roughly 18 months to fully validate in a lab setting. We’ll keep you posted with more information moving forward.