Yale researchers among those trying to develop COVID vaccine


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Researchers at Yale School of Medicine are working around the clock, to come up with a COVID-19 vaccine.

Their focus is on a livestock virus that led to developing an effective Ebola vaccine. The FDA approved it in December of last year, benefiting patients and front line workers in Africa.

“It’s a very flexible vaccine platform that can be scaled up quickly and meet massive needs in a very rapid way.  It’s also very immunogenic so that it leads to a very effective vaccine and with a scale up, more rapidly deployable,” says Dr. Joseph Vinetz.

The infectious disease specialist with Yale Medicine says animal testing will start shortly.
Preliminary data shows it generated a protective immune response.

This week, the maker of the drug Remdesivir, released early results of NIH study, finding that it is effective in treating COVID patients.  

Dr. Venitz says, “Dr. Fauci said it most succinctly, it’s going to be standard of care and it would be unethical to keep people on placebo.  That means there’s enough of a signal that Remdesivir works, even in severely ill patients, that it should be scaled up and given to people under supervision in a clinical trial circumstances.”

Information on how those with moderate symptoms responded — coming soon.        

Also getting a lot of attention, a clinical trial underway in New York City focused on a heartburn medication. Could it treat COVID? It is based on non-scientific information out of China. So far, no data reported.

“But what that represents idea wise is looking for something to re-purpose from one clinical use to another clinical use,” says the scientist/clinician. “So that we don’t have to discover new medications.”  

Related: FDA allows emergency use of remdesivir to help treat coronavirus patients

Late Friday afternoon, President Trump announced in the oval office that the FDA has granted emergency use authorization for Remdesivir. Meaning, it can now be used for COVID patients in hospitals.

The intravenous drug was shown to shorten recovery time.

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