COVID-19 vaccine trial underway at NYU Langone

As cases of coronavirus continue to rise in New York and throughout the nation, vaccine designer AstraZeneca is entering phase three of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

"We're very encouraged by early data so far from vaccine studies," Dr. Steven Carsons, the director of the Vaccine Center with NYU Langone Health, told FOX 5 NY. "Participants will receive two injections a month apart — either vaccine or saltwater placebo." 

NYU Langone Health started enrolling participants at its new vaccine center in Mineola. The most common side effects from prior phases include soreness and tenderness at the injection site, according to doctors.

"This is a weakened chimpanzee common cold virus that cannot infect humans, can't multiply but can deliver the spike protein you see on diagrams which can provide a natural immunity," Carsons said. 

NYU Langone Health is seeking to enroll 1,000 participants of the 30,000 in the entire study. NYU Langone is looking for people between the ages of 18 and 85 who are either at high risk for contracting COVID-19 or those with underlying conditions who may have severe cases if they test positive.

Participants would have to make seven visits over a two-year period so researchers could properly monitor safety and efficacy. Suzanne Sunday was one of the first to take part in receiving either the vaccine or a placebo. 

"I believe it's important to participate in trying to find an answer here and science is the only way to get out of this mess," she said. "If I can help I think it's an important thing."

Following analysis of the data, officials say perhaps this will be one of several vaccines available in early 2021. 

Information about the clinical trial is here.

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