The featured image is a vaccine trial. The reason is that the article is about UCSD's national effort to fight COVID-19.

UC San Diego Health announced that they will participate in a national trial of a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to CBS8, citing a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune, it is set to begin Monday.

The three trial sites in San Diego County are composed of the UCSD Health Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute, M3 Wake Research in San Diego, and eStudySite in La Mesa.

These are all part of the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

The report said the trial sites will assess the “efficacy and immunogenicity” of a vaccine intended to protect against SARS-CoV-2.

SARS-CoV-2 is the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to officials.

Sites across the country are participating in the hopes of developing and confirming an effective vaccine by the end of the year. 

New Health Institute

The National Institutes of Health is sponsoring the trial based on a vaccine prototype.

Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical company Moderna developed the vaccine prototype.   

National Institutes of Health is a newly formed COVID-19 Prevention Network.

Being Part Of The Research

Stephen Spector, MD, said he is pleased to be part of the research.

He is a Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases in the UC San Diego School of Medicine.  

Spector noted:

“Our country and the world are facing an unprecedented pandemic that has already killed more than 600,000 people worldwide.”

Dr. Spector is also the principal investigator for the UC San Diego arm of the vaccine trial. 

He added:

“A vaccine is desperately needed to help control the epidemic.

“We are excited that UC San Diego will be able to offer the San Diego community the opportunity to participate in a Phase III vaccine trial.”

“That, if successful, has the potential to change the course of the epidemic.”  

Encouraging Enough

According to UCSD Health officials, Moderna’s vaccine is encouraging enough to proceed further.

They are referring to data from Phase I of the Moderna vaccine’s clinical trial.

So much so, that they launch a Phase III trial.

NIH, along with the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, granted the launch of the Phase III trial.

Francis Collins, the director of the National Institute of Health, said:

“I’ve been at NIH for 27 years. I’ve been NIH director for 11 years.”

“I have never seen anything come together this way.”

“(This as) as we have tried to do and are now doing for the development of vaccines.” 

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