“They have diabetes, hypertension, obesity, they come from lower socioeconomic status, many of them. And these patients have been ravaged by COVID-19,” he said.
Now, a new COVID-19 vaccine trial in New Mexico could be the answer. One-hundred twenty-five people from different backgrounds are needed in the study.
“Maybe they live in crowded situations, they are industrial workers, they are frontline workers, and they may not have kidney disease diabetes or hypertension—but anyone who thinks is at high risk for getting COVID-19 infection could participate in the study,” Dr. Kumar said.
“Right now the pandemic is raging despite two vaccines that have emergency use authorization by FDA. We cannot reach enough population to protect everyone, so I think there is role for each and every agent that could be tried to, you know, control this pandemic in time,” he added.
If approved, the AstraZeneca vaccine would work differently.
“Let’s say you have a nursing home, and you have a surge going on, and you don’t have time for the vaccine. Typical vaccines to work and protect, so this vaccine could actually be injected and be effective right away, so that I think that would be a niche for this kind of vaccine, monoclonal antibody associated vaccines,” Dr. Kumar said.
The main difference, Dr. Kumar said, is that people’s bodies will be injected directly with antibodies instead of having to produce them. A second dose also isn’t required.
“There are two monoclonal antibodies, so they get one monoclonal antibody and the second monoclonal antibody given at the same time,” he said.
A stipend is also available for those who participate.
For more information about the trial, click here.