DHRHealth seeks coronavirus clinical vaccine trial study
EDINBURG - New local developments are underway in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Researchers and Doctors with DHRHealth’s Institute for Research and Development are interested in bringing up to three clinical COVID-19 trials to the Rio Grande Valley.
The name of the three clinical trial medications are “Moderna, the other is Astrazeneca and the third is Pfizer,” CEO and President of DHRHealth, Dr. Sohail Rao said.
DHR researchers are interested in conducting research for several reasons.
“One of which… this is an area that is predominantly Hispanic and there has been a national conversation about the lack of minorities getting involved in these clinical trials.”
Dr. Rao explains the Valley’s 1.4 million population has more than 90 percent Hispanic individuals. The department believes it would be an ideal place to initiate a vaccine trial.
The Center for Disease Control mentions “Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.”
Dr. Rao says this reason is a driving force for needed local participation.
As the pandemic remains a concern, the aforementioned pharmaceutical companies are in phase three of testing which requires participation of thousands of people in effort to “...confirm safety and effectiveness results from Phase 1 and 2 trials,” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Once phase three is complete, the Food and Drug Administration would review the results and consider the drug for approval.
Dr. Rao hopes to start the clinical trials soon.
“My hope is that this actually happens within the next three to four weeks and given the fact that we got the desired population and we complete it within a short period of time.”
Once DHR completes the clinical trial studies, they would send the information back to a national database in effort to help create an official COVID-19 vaccination.