Monkeys given the Moderna coronavirus vaccine and then deliberately infected were able to fight off the virus, quickly clearing it from their lungs, researchers reported on Tuesday.

The findings do not guarantee that the vaccine will perform the same way in people, but the results are considered encouraging and a milestone in the struggle against the pandemic. If an experimental vaccine fails in monkeys, that is generally seen as a bad sign for its ability to work in humans. This type of study is considered valuable because infecting people on purpose, though sometimes done, is not standard practice.

On Monday clinics around the country began a Phase 3 trial of the vaccine candidate from Moderna, a biotech company based in Massachusetts, with the aim of enrolling 30,000 people to test for safety and effectiveness.

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