The Moderna vaccine candidate began phase three on Monday. Clinical trials will soon begin for many Americans participating, like Jay Bostick.
Bostick is set to get the vaccine candidate next week. He’ll either get the virus or a placebo.
The entire process started weeks ago when Bostick gave biographical information, followed by his health and genetic background. He also discussed his lifestyle and habits.
“I started this process about a month ago so there is a bit of apprehension that’s built up, and obviously, my friends and family are concerned for my safety and what-not,” he said. “I think the comfort that I receive is knowing it’s not a live virus that I’m receiving so that’s been kind of able to put my mind at peace.”
The Moderna candidate is one of many vaccines that researchers are working across the country.
Dr. Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said while they’re in phase three, it will still take time to gather all of the data.
“For Operation Warp Speed, there are several vaccines now beginning large phase-three clinical trials,” said Hotez. “These are 30,000-person studies with human volunteers to confirm or to show that the vaccines actually work, which we haven’t shown yet, and it takes about a year to accumulate all of that data.”
Once the data is accumulated and the vaccine is successful, it has to be distributed.
“We’ll accumulate that data over the next year, and then hopefully by, I’m saying the third quarter of 2021, we might have a vaccine or two vaccines or even three to roll out to the public, and that would be a world record in terms of time,” said Dr. Hotez.
Other researchers, like Hotez and his colleagues, are also working on a vaccine. He said having multiple vaccines increases access.
“You might say, ‘OK, why do you need so many types of vaccines?’ Well one, just the sheer number of people who require a vaccine is significant, so if you can get several different types of vaccines out there, it increases the likelihood that everyone will have access. And, then the other point is we still don’t know which vaccines are going to work or work the best,” said Hotez.