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Getting Answers: Where does COVID-19 vaccine research stand?

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(WKOW) -- Many people are wondering how long it will be before we have a vaccine to protect us from COVID-19.

According to Dr. Daniel Culver at Cleveland Clinic, there are more than 100 vaccines in various stages of development.

"Vaccine development is going very quickly right now and it is going about as well as we could hope," Dr. Culver said. "Investigators around the world are leveraging a number of new platforms for delivering vaccines to patients including viral-based vectors, proteins delivered in novel ways, RNA-based vaccines, DNA-based vaccines and conventional inactivated viral vaccines."

A study out of China looks at harnessing a type of cold virus known as a "Trojan Horse." The inactivated virus is engineered to trigger the immune system to produce antibodies to fight novel coronavirus.

Early results show the vaccine is safe and increases antibody and cell responses. The next step is to prove that the vaccine actually provides immunity to COVID-19.

Another group is researching a novel RNA-based vaccine. A small, phase one study shows the immune system responds to the vaccine, but now investigators need to prove it's effective in preventing infection.

Dr. Culver says early study results are encouraging, but he adds there is a long way to go.

“While we’re all very excited about promising news that are coming out with a couple of these vaccines, so far, we're really just at the opening stages of this and we have to see that these vaccines are effective in large-scale clinical trials before we will know that we have a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2,” Dr. Culver said.

According to Dr. Culver, these vaccines will need to pass two more stages of research before they're considered viable. He says despite promising findings in early phase one trials, most vaccines don't make it through the next two rounds of testing.

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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