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What we know about COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials in San Antonio

KSAT-TV EXTRA: Extended interview with volunteer

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The race for a COVID-19 vaccine is global with more than 150 in development across the world. According to the World Health Organization, there are 42 companies working on a vaccine in the United States and two of them are in San Antonio: Pfizer and Moderna.

There are four phases vaccines must go through before being considered for approval by the Food and Drug Administration:

Preclinical: where the vaccine is tested on animals

Phase one/ Safety trials: a small group of people are tested

Phase two: hundreds volunteer to test the vaccine

Phase three/ Efficacy trials: thousands of people participate

Moderna is in phase three of their clinical trials. Pfizer has combined phases two and three for faster results. Both trials will involve 30,000 participants across the United States (and Brazil and Germany for the Pfizer study). Hundreds of those volunteers are being tested in San Antonio through the Clinical Trials of South Texas.

“I can’t think of a more important clinical trial to participate in it than this one, since this is the biggest health threat of my of my life,” said Steven Davis, a dermatologist and volunteer for the Pfizer trial. He and his wife and son qualified for the study because of their age and familiarity with the medical field.

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These are both blind trials where half of the participants will actually receive the vaccine and the other half will get a placebo in order to ensure an unbiased collection of results.

Kay Scroggins, President and CEO of Clinical Trials of South Texas, assures participants that they can not become infected with coronavirus from the vaccine.

“Pfizer and Moderna both have similar mechanisms in their vaccines. And it’s a race, I think, to see who can get there the fastest. I think everybody’s really working hard to get vaccines to the market as quickly as possible,” Scroggins said.

Both companies hope to have a vaccine ready for mass distribution by the end of the year.

If approved, Pfizer has already said it plans to make 1.3 doses worldwide by the end of 2021. The Trump administration awarded the company a $1.9 Billion contract for 100 million doses by December.

For more details on each study click the original stories:

San Antonio researchers seek 500-600 participants for COVID-19 vaccine trial

COVID-19 vaccine trial underway in South Texas

Learn about the history of vaccinations, how and why they were made and at what speed and how they work in the latest KSAT Explains: Search for COVID-19 vaccine


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