Thursday 03 September 2020
Books – Sayed Metwally
The man who lost seven members of his family due to the emerging corona virus has become the first American to receive a dose in the final stage test of a vaccine that the University of Oxford is working on.
Jacob Serrano, 23, and 31 other people received the vaccine from Oxford and her partner, AstraZeneca, at the Headlands Gym Research Institute in Lake Worth, Florida over the weekend.
The third stage is looking at whether the vaccine is effective in preventing Corona symptoms, with the participation of thousands of volunteers.
Serrano says he wants to help be a part of finding a solution to stop the deadly virus, which has killed more than 183,000 in the United States so far.
“I’m looking at how many lives we’ve lost, and I don’t want that to continue,” the young man, who lost 7 of his family, tells CBS News.
It is not clear which family members Serrano lost during the epidemic, but he says that any risk that may result from trying the vaccine is worth it, after 7 of his relatives died.
The young American continues: “I know there is a danger from taking the vaccine, but I prefer to take one step closer to fighting the virus, regardless of what it takes.”
Serrano and others who have taken the doses will be monitored at the Headlands Gym Research Institute in Lake Worth, Florida, over the next few weeks to see who creates an immune response to the virus.
The principal investigator in Florida, Dr. Larry Bush, an infectious disease specialist in Wellington, told CBS News that the earlier stages of the trial indicated that the vaccine was effective, adding: “The immune response is very encouraging.”
Bush adds: “In the first and second stages of the trial, the vaccine produced powerful antibodies as well as the response of T cells, to fight off the cells that become infected. This is very important in treating infections.”
And AstraZeneca announced, on Tuesday, that it has registered 30,000 American volunteers to participate in the third phase of the clinical trial, meaning that 50,000 people around the world are part of the study to see if the vaccine – known as AZD1222 – prevents infection with Covid-19.
Volunteers have already been tested in the UK, Brazil and South Africa with planned test sites in Japan and Russia.
Professor Sarah Gilbert, who leads the Oxford team, says she expects to provide the initial data from the Phase 3 trial to officials soon.
The vaccination includes a genetically modified virus, which is similar to the new coronavirus but cannot cause infection, the immune system is trained to recognize the virus so that it can attack it in the event someone is infected, and AstraZeneca claims it has the capacity to produce two billion doses by the summer of 2021, as well. The United States has already ordered 300 million doses and the United Kingdom has already purchased 100 million doses.
A company spokesman said in a statement to Reuters, that AstraZeneca may supply the United States with the first doses of its vaccine as soon as October, assuming the Food and Drug Administration approves safety and efficacy or authorization for emergency use of the vaccine.
The spokesman said: “It is important to remember that – while the data so far is certainly encouraging – there is no guarantee that this vaccine will ultimately be approved or granted permission for emergency use.”