CINCINNATI — A trial vaccine for COVID-19 is slated to happen soon at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital as researchers hope for a good representation of the minority population hit especially hard by the pandemic.
"What we're looking at is a way to try to prevent the infection,” said Dr. Robert Frenck, director of the hospital’s infectious diseases division and the lead doctor on the trial.
The crucial vaccines, sponsored by Pfizer, will take about 18 months to complete.
"If everything went super, super perfect, maybe the end of this year," he said. "But I think maybe the likely scenario would be trying to hope for something next spring."
Frenck said the vaccine itself can’t give patients COVID-19, since it doesn’t contain the whole virus.
"It's just going to try to make your body make antibodies against the part of the virus that we think it critical for the virus to be able to cause an infection,” he explained.
But aside from finding an urgently-needed COVID-19 vaccine, there’s another challenge.
“One of the things we're interested in is trying to have minority populations participate in the trials, too."
He says the black population in the U.S. is just 14% -- yet they represent 33% of total coronavirus deaths. That means finding members of minority populations to take part in the trial is a top priority.
May 11 is the target date for the vaccinations in this study. Researchers will screen patients to make sure they are not already carrying COVID-19.
To sign up, contact Children’s Hospital Medical Center.