LOS ANGELES - Inside an average looking shopping strip in Hollywood there lies what may be our greatest hope for dealing with COVID-19.
In a UCLA clinic behind covered windows on Vine Street is the only place in LA County where phase three trials will be conducted for a new coronavirus vaccine from Moderna.
Chris Blades, who is working on the UCLA project says, "It’s a two series injection over a 28 day period. It’s to help keep people from getting ill from COVID.”
Blades, a community education program manager, at the clinic, says if you sign up you’re involved in the program for two years.
You’ll get a shot and a booster in the first month and be monitored for 24 months to see how you respond. He says, “Vaccines teach your immune system how to protect itself so, in the event, you come in content with the virus, the antibodies will know how to respond to the virus.”
Moderna plans on getting 30,000 volunteers involved in their study. At the UCLA location, Chris Blades says they are looking for 350 to 500 volunteers.
Moderna had a special national online kick-off that included an exuberant Dr. Anthony Fauci.
He said during the Zoom conference, “What we’re seeing now is the launch of a trial.
A phase three trial of a candidate vaccine which is the fastest from the time a virus- pathogen -was identified to the time it goes into a phase three trial… literally in the history of vaccinology in the United States at least… and maybe throughout the world.
Another on the conference call, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), says “In this vaccine trial... we want to know whether it works which means half the people will be getting the vaccine. The other half will get a placebo.”
Dr. Tom Ladegar is the Director of Medicine for Providence Cedar Sinai Hospital in Tarzana. He says that “The theory behind the vaccine is that the MESSENGER RNA… your DNA will produce a MESSENGER RNA is close to codes for a protein."
That’s what the novel coronavirus is…. a protein. Those spikes surrounding the protein are used to enter human cells. That’s when it begins to multiply in your body.
Ladegar says, “In phase one and phase two the trials have already shown these are neutralizing antibodies so that’s a great sign.”
So, now its onto phase three.
If you want to sign up to be part of the study go to coronavirusprotectionnetwork.org.
Some will be chosen from there. Others from community outreach.