COVID-19 vaccine: How promising are the latest results?

A Southern California doctor explains what we know so far about two vaccine trials that are showing encouraging early results.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As the world races to find a vaccine for COVID-19, two vaccine trials are showing promising results.

One is from a pharmaceutical company called Moderna, and it's the first coronavirus vaccine to be tested on people. The other is being done through Oxford University in partnership with AstraZeneca.

Dr. Anthony Cardillo, ER specialist and CEO of Mend Urgent Care, joined ABC7 via Skype to share his perspective on the latest information regarding a possible vaccine.

The latest information reveals at least two vaccine trials are showing promising results. What can you tell us about both trials?

Cardillo explained the Morderna vaccine is a mRNA vaccine, meaning the virus is not being injected.

"We're injecting the messenger genetic material into our bodies and that is what our bodies recognize to make the antibodies against," Cardillo said.

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He added that the vaccines are still in the phase one clinical trial, but the results are promising.

Cardillo explained there was an antibody response in the phase one clinical trial for the Moderna vaccine and in the Oxford study, there was a response among monkeys when they were infected with the vaccine and they built antibodies as well.

"So, in both of these studies, phase one clinical trials, which really look at the safety and mild efficacy of this, showed that antibodies were being produced," Cardillo said. "That's very promising, very reassuring."
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One of the experts involved in the Oxford study pointed out that their vaccine, using a modified cold virus, is fairly easy to produce. Why is that so important?

"We have a lot of experience with the cold virus, and how to use it to make vaccines, so it is very easy to replicate, very easy to reproduce and mass reproduce because obviously we need hundreds of millions of doses," Cardillo said.

"To vaccinate worldwide, we're going to have to have a platform that's easy to replicate, and certainly the cold virus is," Cardillo added.

When a vaccine is shown to be safe and effective, who will be among the first to receive it?

Cardillo said those with underlying health issues, the elderly and those who work in the health care sector would most likely be the first groups the vaccine would be used on.

"Also we want to focus in on areas where there's a high prevalence of disease, so we can demonstrate efficacy," Cardillo said. "So, there's a combination of factors here."
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