Now a pandemic, coronavirus changes life indefinitely

A lab technician begins semi-automated testing for COVID-19 on March 11 in Lake Success, New York.

KANSAS CITY, MO (AP) -- A second U.S. company is poised to begin a small safety test of a vaccine against the new coronavirus.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals said Monday that it has Food and Drug Administration permission for the study in 40 healthy volunteers in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Missouri.

The study is a first step to see if the vaccine appears safe enough for larger tests needed to prove whether it will protect. Even if the research goes well, it is expected to take over a year before any vaccine could be widely available.

Last month, the first safety test in people of a different vaccine candidate began in Seattle. It was developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc.

Numerous other research groups are attempting to make vaccines against COVID-19 using a variety of different methods in hopes at least one will offer protection.

Inovio's approach is what's called a DNA vaccine, made using a section of the virus' genetic code packaged inside a piece of synthetic DNA.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.

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