BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Nationally, the death toll and the number of positive cases of COVID-19 continues to rise. While two vaccines are out, the process is going slowly. UAB is taking part in another vaccine trial that could help speed things along.
The two vaccines out now from Pfizer and Moderna both require two doses to work. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine doesn’t. Health leaders consider that a game changer.
Last month, UAB started taking part in the Johnson and Johnson trials. Nationwide about 50,000 volunteers are taking part.
“It is an adenovirus based vaccine. Like the Astrazeneca vaccine. It’s given the people a weakened virus that has the viral DNA embedded in it. So you make the protein and then you make antibodies to it,” Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo , UAB Infections Diseases said.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require a second shot about four to three weeks a part. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine trail taking place at UAB is the only trial looking at the efficacy of just one shot.
“That is the only trial so far that is studying a single dose vaccine. As you can imagine that would be huge. That would be nice to have on our menu of vaccination options,” Marrazzo said.
UAB is at the forefront of this research nationally. Work is still under way but it’s hoped results could be known very soon. “We should hear in January. Mid-January. That is right around the coroner and that is very exciting,” Marrazzo said.
Dr. Marrazzo admitted they’re disappointed with the slow rollout of the vaccines across the country. So the more we have, the more people can get vaccinated.