HOUSTON – The cure to COVID-19 may be here in Houston.
Researchers with the Texas Center for Drug Development are still looking for participants for several trials happening here but with volunteers starting the study this week, health leaders believe we are on track for an early 2021 vaccine.
In America: Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax and Moderna are getting a lot of attention for having vaccine candidates almost ready to go.
“It appears safe. In the phase 1 studies, it appears safe and the most important thing I think people need to know is that the vaccine is actually not the coronavirus,” Frederic Santiago, MD, with the Texas Center for Drug Development, explained when speaking about Moderna’s vaccine.
He said the Moderna vaccine is re-programming the virus' genetic code, meaning the immune system can naturally develop antibodies.
“There are several types of antibodies that we know that can stop the virus from attaching to your cells and also another type that actually neutralizes it. So we’re looking for… Do [antibodies] actually rise and how long do they last?” Santiago said.
They're hoping for a diverse group to determine which vaccines are most effective to a large population.