The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, joined CNN's ongoing town hall to discuss the promising early results of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine trial.
The biotech company partnered with the National Institutes of Health to develop the vaccine, and reported this week that volunteers are showing positive results. If future studies go well, the vaccine could be available to the public as early as January, according to Moderna's chief medical officer.
Here's how it works: This vaccine produces neutralizing antibodies, which bind to the virus, thus disabling it from attacking human cells and preventing infection.
The human body actually produces antibodies against coronavirus quite readily, Fauci said -- that's why a large number of people spontaneously recover from the virus by themselves.
The trial results: The Moderna trial vaccinated dozens of participants and measured antibodies in eight of them. All eight developed neutralizing antibodies to the virus at levels reaching or exceeding the levels seen in people who've naturally recovered from Covid-19, according to the company.
"Although the numbers were limited, it was quite good news because it reached and went over an important hurdle in the development of vaccines. That's the reason why I'm cautiously optimistic about it," Fauci said.
Read more about the trial results here.