Hoda Kotb was excited on Monday morning to share some "encouraging" news about the work being done to create a vaccine for the coronavirus. The Today co-host interviewed NBC News Medical Correspondent Dr. John Torres about the results of the first human trials for a potential vaccine.
"The results of one small study on humans are in and they appear to be encouraging," Kotb revealed. "I love when I see the word 'encouraging' in a script."
"This is very encouraging," Dr. Torres agreed.
Torres went on to note that the results have come in from a phase one trial and the response to the potential vaccine has been positive.
"For some of the participants -- they don't have all the results yet -- in eight of the participants, they actually ended up sero converting, we call it," Torres revealed. "Because of the vaccine they had antibodies. The good part is those antibodies are neutralizing, in other words, they'll take care of coronavirus and prevent it from taking hold... they are getting levels equivalent to people who recovered from coronavirus and now we think have some immunity to it."
Dr. Torres was careful to note that though the news is encouraging, researchers still have a long way to go before a vaccine can reach the public.
"This is good news because we're getting steps forward in the vaccine process here, but they still have two more phases to go," he noted. "They'll do a phase two which is about 600 people and then they'll do the big phase three. They'll start that in July. That's the one that's going to give us a lot of answers. If they get that then we'll get the vaccine. Keeping our fingers crossed, hopefully soon."
Breaking news on the search for a coronavirus vaccine. The results from a small trial on humans appear to be encouraging. @DrJohnTorres has the latest on what the data from the trial means for the future. pic.twitter.com/Td4w43Hgxk— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 18, 2020
Kotb then asked when the public can expect a potential vaccine if the other trial phases go well.
"It just depends on how it pans out. That usually takes months or years, in this case, they're hoping months," Dr. Torres said. "Sometime after the New Year is when we'll get it, maybe before if things fall into place."
The coronavirus pandemic has spread across the globe, taking more than 300,000 lives worldwide. The spread has led to travel bans and lockdowns with many people quarantining in their homes.