Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and Yahoo companies plan to test new vaccine against deadly ‘MERS’ virus

Companies with several thousand workers in the United States, including Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and Yahoo, said Wednesday they’ve begun testing vaccines against the deadly “MERS” virus after receiving interim results from a yearlong, large-scale trial.

The companies have each developed a vaccine against the deadly and non-lethal “MERS” coronavirus, including a variety known as coronavirus Type-1 (CMV V).

The North Carolina BioScience Research Institute is conducting the study, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Public Health Service’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

It’s one of several large-scale trials expected to begin testing new vaccines against the possible, but unproven, effects of exposure to the coronavirus that has baffled scientists for more than a decade.

Among the 200,000 people at risk of infection, 99 have died since the virus was identified in 2012, but no deaths related to the virus have been documented in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Monarch MERS 1/2 virus

The U.S. Coast Guard, in effect the nation’s first responders for “CMV V” since it first appeared in public health concern nearly a decade ago, asked NCBI to undertake the study.

“The original idea with [the research] was to do a larger trial to answer more questions and evaluate the protection to the next generation of generation three” vaccines,” said Thomas Ferguson, NCBI’s director.

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