WATCH: Gregg County Health Authority Dr. Lewis Browne talks about projected availability of COVID-19 vaccine

WATCH: Gregg County Health Authority talks about projected availability of COVID-19 vaccine

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - KLTV’s Jamey Boyum speaks with Gregg County Health Authority Dr. Lewis Browne about Dr. Anthony Fauci’s stating we could have a COVID-19 vaccine by late 2020 or early 2021.

Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Browne said he’s surprised to hear a prediction by Fauci that a COVID-19 vaccine could be ready in that time period, and he says some limited testing has begun, even in our area. 

“There is one trial around here that they’re doing. But there are some very small vaccination trials that they have started doing and you have to like a phase one trial, phase two and phase three trials before you can release it. Certainly the FDA has fast tracked this,” Browne said. ”That is unbelievably quick in my book. We’ve had vaccines for viruses such as MMR, the influenza vaccine, the HPV vaccine, chicken pox vaccine and the shingles shot. But those have all taken time to develop, and this is a totally new vaccine against a totally different virus than we’ve ever tried to vaccinate against. Even the polio vaccine that was perhaps the very first vaccine back in the 50s, and it took years. But, as always you have to be careful when you make a vaccine against something that you make it against what you think you’re making it against,” Browne said.  

He said that is part of the problem with making the COVID-19 vaccine.

“There just hasn’t been enough time to know and be able to say, yes it’s going to last a long time or it’s not. That is part of the trial. You’re going to be checking people to see how well they keep their antibody levels up. And also maybe have them somewhat exposed to either viruses, to see if they would actually get sick; hopefully they can do it by just checking the antibody level,” Browne said.

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