Infectious disease expert with Kettering Health Network says virus vaccine is promising

Local News

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – A report just published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows a successful phase one of a COVID-19 vaccine. There were mild side effects, but Dr. Jeffrey Weinstein with Kettering Health Network said it was found to induce immune responses in all of the volunteers.

“They gave the vaccine to 45 healthy volunteers, gave them three doses of vaccine and essentially found that the vaccine did lead to antibody responses in those individuals,” said Weinstein.

The company Moderna said the Phase two trials have already started where they give it to a larger group of volunteers. Then Phase three will begin soon after where they will branch out to those at-risk.

Weinstein says right now, the vaccine doesn’t prove immunity, but there’s reason to be optimistic.

“They compared the antibody response in the volunteers to those who have already had coronavirus and recovered from the infection,” said Weinstein. “What they found was that the antibodies were about the same for both groups.”

He said the Moderna vaccine is only one of the five vaccine trials the U.S. is funding, so even if this one doesn’t pan out he says infectious disease experts remain hopeful.

“We only learned the genetic sequence of this virus in January, so six months later, we’ve already completed Phase 1 trial so that’s very fast,” said Weinstein.

He said early 2021 would be the earliest a vaccine could be approved by the FDA but it would be a while before it is widely available.

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