(REUTERS) - When a newly organized vaccine research group at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) met for the first time this week, its members had expected to be able to ease into their work. But their mandate is to conduct human trials for emerging health threats - and their first assignment came at shocking speed.
In just three months time, they likely will be testing the first of a number of potential experimental vaccines against the new SARS-like coronavirus that is spreading in China and beyond.
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“I told them, ‘you are going to have your baptism of fire, folks’,” Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases within NIH, said of his inaugural address to the group this week.