Orlando clinic looking for volunteers in COVID-19 vaccine trial

The Orlando Immunology Center has been selected to do a vaccine trial for a COVID-19 vaccine, and they're looking for volunteers to take part in the study.

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"I actually signed up a few weeks ago," said Erin Lawrence who is participating in the trial.  "The possibility of a vaccine being run through a trial here and getting into the community so much faster just made me thrilled."

The director of the Orlando Immunology Center said they are one of 33 sites in the country participating in a COVID-19 vaccine study. It’s sponsored by Oxford University and Pharmaceutical Company AstraZeneca.

"They were able to get robust antibody response. Even after the first shot, 91% of patients developed antibodies," said Dr. Edwin De Jesus.

In addition to that, the vaccine was able to produce T-cells, which seek infected cells and attack them. As they enter Phase 2, the research center wants to enroll volunteers like Erin to test the vaccine.

"I’m potentially helping people to prevent people from getting sick with this, help recover from this. I think it’s fantastic."

"I’m just excited that we have vaccines progressing," said Dr. Michael Teng of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida. "It’s a race, but the race doesn’t finish when the first vaccine crosses the line. We’re going to need as many vaccines as we can."

For Erin, it helps comfort her knowing there’s a new vaccine on the horizon.

"There is an end to this coming. And it may not be tomorrow, it may not be next week but it’s going to be here."  

For information on the vaccine trial, visit: https://oicorlando.com/