Clinical trials for coronavirus vaccine now underway.

Tests on an experimental vaccine to protect against the new coronavirus have now begun in the United States, with the first participants in a clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine at a research institute in Seattle receiving doses on Monday, Euronews reports.

The US National Institute of Health is funding the trial, taking place at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle: however, experts warn it could take a year to 18 months to approve any vaccine.

In Europe, the EU has announced a major investment in a German company, CureVac, which is working on a vaccine. This follows reports the US was looking to buy the company.

Helge Braun, Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, told the German newspaper Bild that officials had “very intensive contact” with CureVac “when there were thoughts of enticing it to the United States”.

“I am proud that we have leading companies like CureVac in the EU,'' said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Germany's former defence minister, on Monday. “Their home is here, but their vaccines will benefit everyone, in Europe and beyond.”

The Commission has said that it will provide up to €80 million in support.

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