COVID-19 booster shot clinical trials underway

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 4:20 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Healthcare leaders across the country continue to offer first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to those who remain unvaccinated.

Others who participated in clinical trials over a year ago are now getting their third shot. It’s part of a new study on a COVID-19 booster shot.

Dr. Paul Bradley says Savannah’s clinical trial helped produce a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine and while it’s widely available on the market, their work isn’t over.

“We had a hope and a prayer that it would work, but I’ve done a lot of vaccine trials over the years and a lot of times they don’t. The incredible part is this one turned out not only to work but exceed all our expectations,” said Dr. Bradley.

While the vaccines have been closely studied, it’s still unclear how long they will last. But Dr. Bradley’s work continues on that with a booster trials. They already began for phase two participants and will soon begin for phase three patients.

“They are going to get, or they got either a real vaccine which will be a booster dose or a placebo and the booster dose is going to now, it’s going to be a bit different cause we now know what other strains are out there and so we can modify the booster dose to then cover those strains that you’ve heard that might cause us more problems.”

Dr. Bradley says of his patients who have gotten their vaccine none have been diagnosed with COVID-19. He says so far the booster trial is going well.

“Early results that have been published from those that were in phase two show that the booster had a “robust” response. The people that got the, now third shot had great antibody response.”

So while a booster shot is on a lot of people’s mind, Dr. Bradley says it’s important to be patient and let medical professionals do the research.

“I get calls every day where do I go get my booster? Nowhere, not yet, okay? It is still very much being looked at. At this point everybody is still less than a year out that got the vaccine the usual route and so everyone should still be covered. We’re not hearing any issues as far as that goes.”

Dr. Bradley says a timeline is unclear, though trials typically last a year. He says health leaders are watching closely as the booster trial continues.

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