Companies enrolling Houstonians to volunteer for vaccine trial

Race for vaccine: multiple options to become available soon
Race for vaccine: multiple options to become available soon

HOUSTON – The latest COVID-19 vaccine study is enrolling participants in the Houston area. Privia Health and research partner Javara are looking for volunteers in The Woodlands, as part of a trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Also this week, Pfizer and Moderna said their respective vaccines are around 95 percent effective against the coronavirus.

“We are at the beginning of the end. We’re not at the end but the end is now in sight, which is great news,” said Dr. James McDeavitt, the dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine.

With several vaccines under review, which one should you ultimately get?

“Any vaccine that’s authorized by the FDA, I will take and if it turns out that one of these doesn’t last very long, ya know what? So what? I can get boosted later on,” Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor University said on MSNBC.

Hotez said he was optimistic about getting a significant portion of the American population vaccinated by the spring.

“Don’t try to overthink this and wait for a certain vaccine,” he said. “Take what you can get to save your life and your family’s life.”

McDeavitt agreed but also pointed out some challenges that may pop up early on.

“When the vaccine comes out, we’re not going to have enough to vaccinate everyone simultaneously so it’ll be in stages,” McDeavitt said.

The time to approve, manufacture and distribute the vaccine could take months, possibly into next fall, which is why McDeavitt said we’re not at the end of the pandemic just yet.