Data is forthcoming, says one of the initial participants in a vaccine trial for COVID-19.
Neal Browning just received his second, and final, vaccine shot.
On March 16, 2020, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute gave the first injection of an investigational vaccine for the novel coronavirus to four volunteers participating in a phase 1 federally sponsored clinical trial.
Browning spoke with GV Wire after his first dose and told us he’d be chronicling his journey through social media. Tuesday night, he provided an update.
Changes to Entrance Procedures
Browning arrived at the Kaiser Permanente Research center in Seattle early Tuesday morning to a different experience from last month.
To get clearance to enter, Browning had to answer several questions to establish he didn’t have any symptoms. He was allowed to go in only after having a temperature check come back negative for fever.
Browning writes, “Once cleared, you are given a small orange sticker near the middle collar of your shirt with the date to show you are cleared to anyone you might encounter.”
Nine Vials of Blood
Before receiving his vaccine booster, Browning also had to go through several more steps.
To verify the shot several weeks ago was not having adverse effects on his body, doctors took out nine vials of his blood. As Browning puts it in his journal, “(the) primary focus still on verification that the vaccine is not having any negative effects on my body and physiology. “
Questions About First Vaccine Shot
“I asked specifically about the big draw 2 weeks ago and hoped they had good news on the immunology tests run on that sample,” Browning writes, “but as expected, those are not shared in my chart, but rather will be aggregated into a comprehensive report to show how everyone reacted based on age, dosage, timeline, and made anonymous to protect patients medical records.”
Highest Dosage Given
Browning gives a little more insight into the timing of the trial by writing, “Volunteers getting the highest dosage just started vaccination today. This means in about 4 weeks or so, there will be a lot of data on responses to the vaccine.”
According to Kaiser Permanente, phase I trials are not designed to determine whether the vaccine is effective in preventing coronavirus infection. That work comes at a later phase of the vaccine research.
Search for a COVID-19 Vaccine Heats up in China, US
Three potential COVID-19 vaccines are making fast progress in early-stage testing in volunteers in China and the U.S., but it’s still a long road to prove if they’ll really work.
China’s CanSino Biologics has begun the second phase of testing its vaccine candidate, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology said Tuesday.
In the U.S., a shot made by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc. isn’t far behind. That trial is the one Browning is participating in.
NIH infectious disease chief Dr. Anthony Fauci told The Associated Press there are “no red flags” so far and he hoped the next, larger phase of testing could begin around June.
A third candidate, from Inovio Pharmaceuticals, began giving experimental shots for first-step safety testing last week in the U.S. and hopes to expand its studies to China.
Initial tests focus on safety, and researchers in both countries are trying out different doses of different types of shots.
But moving into the second phase is a critical step that allows vaccines to be tested in many more people to look for signs that they protect against infection.
Last week, CanSino filed a report showing it aimed to enroll 500 people in this next study, comparing two doses of the vaccine to dummy shots.
As of Monday, 273 of the volunteers had been injected, China’s state media said.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)