Gov. Lamont tours lab in Meriden that is researching coronavirus vaccine

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A lab in Meriden is racing to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, and Gov. Ned Lamont got an up-close look at what they're doing.

Lamont wanted to come to Protein Sciences to see the front lines of the battle to create a coronavirus vaccine.

Now under the umbrella of pharma giant Sanofi, this lab worked on a vaccine for SARS in 2003. Now that research is the basis for fighting the new virus.

"The vaccine candidate was shown to be immunogenic in animals, at least," says Clem Lewin, of Sanofi. "So that suggests that it will generate an immune response that might be protective."

The facility is among dozens in the nationwide race. To speed things along, the federal government may skip animal testing and go straight to human trials.

Still, Sanofi says a vaccine is at least a year away. And many questions remain -- like, will you need a shot every year?

"The reason people have to get a flu shot every year is the virus changes," says Lewin. "The other question is, how long will the protection of a vaccine last?"

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