Kentucky leading the way; COVID-19 vaccine trials conducted here

Posted at 6:08 PM, Nov 05, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Should a vaccine candidate emerge in the fight against COVID-19, it might come from Kentucky.

UK Healthcare, Baptist Health, and Norton Healthcare of Louisville have formed a partnership that already has them testing phase three clinical trials of Janssen's COV-SARS 2 vaccine. The group will need at least 2,000 volunteers to participate.

"We need everyone we can get to enroll in this vaccine trial," said Dr. David Dougherty, who represents Baptist Health of Lexington. "And we need adults of all ages, we need healthcare workers, and we need people of diverse populations."

The trial will consist of administering the actual vaccine to many in the study, while others will receive a placebo. If scientists can prove the vaccine's efficacy, their findings will be sent to the FDA for approval.

"My experience is that at least six months of safety data should be in the bank before this would get FDA approval," said Dr. Richard Greenberg, an infectious disease specialist at UK.

Six months, with no setbacks, brings us to May. Seems like a long way away, but a small price to pay if this study results in a vaccine.

"This is definitely a part of a return to normalcy," said Dr. Paul Schulz of Norton Healthcare.

Not everyone who enrolls will be accepted into the study, but they stress the need for as many applicants as possible.