Orlando selected as a site for clinical trial of possible COVID-19 vaccine

Orlando was selected as a site for a clinical trial of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Florida Department of Health’s Dr. Raul Pino.

In an Orange County Business Compliance & Consumer Confidence Working Group virtual meeting on Monday, Dr. Pino said that Orlando was selected for the clinical trial of a possible vaccine.

“Orlando was selected for two, maybe three, of the clinical trials for the vaccine," Dr. Pino said. "The Orlando Immunology Center got it from the Institute of Health.”

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Orlando Immunology Center is one of 33 sites in the U.S. selected to participate in one of the COVID-19 vaccine studies. This particular study is sponsored by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

On Monday, preliminary first phase results of the Oxford-AstraZeneca study showed promising results.

“The preliminary results corroborated what the vaccine aimed to do, and to me, is very, very exciting,” said Dr. Edwin De Jesus, Director of Orlando Immunology Center. “They were able to get a robust antibody response.”

In addition to that, the vaccine was able to produce T-cells, which seek infected cells and attack them. Now, people in Orlando will be able to participate in the second and third phases of the study. The research center is looking to enroll volunteers so receive the vaccine. Qualifying patients should have some comorbidities, but not be very ill.

“[We are looking for] healthy people that also have some of risk factors. Just by being in Florida, that’s a risk factor because we are the new epicenter for this,” said Dr. De Jesus. “We will also be looking for something additional to that. Maybe some risk factors, maybe what the person does during the day that exposes them to other people.”

A portion of participants will also have to be over the age of 65. For more information and how to take part in the trial, CLICK HERE.