MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Vice President Mike Pence paid a visit to the University of Miami on Monday to mark the beginning of Phase 3 trials for a coronavirus vaccine.
University of Miami researchers are enrolling 1,000 people in the next round of clinical trials that are hoped to lead to a vaccine that can be provided to Americans later this year or early next year. The university is one of 89 sites across the country participating in trials of a vaccine co-developed by the biotech firm Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
About 30,000 people are expected to participate in the clinical trials in the coming months.
“Today is a day of hope, today is a day of promise, today is a tribute to American ingenuity,” Pence told reporters.
Pence’s visit to the university’s Miller School of Medicine with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis marked the third time the vice president has come to the state during the past month.
Dr. Susanne Doblecki-Lewis, the principal investigator for the Miller School of Medicine, said half of the 1,000 people who will be included in the clinical trial will be given the vaccine and the other half will be given a placebo. The vaccine is given in two doses 28 days apart. She said the university will track people who received the vaccine for two years following administration of the second dose to determine whether the vaccine works.
“Here at the University of Miami we are very aware of the need to shape our enrollment (in the clinical trial) to reflect our strength, which is the diversity of our population here, and particularly the diversity of the people who are at high risk for COVID-19. We take that mandate very seriously,” Doblecki-Lewis said.
To volunteer for the clinical trials, click here. You must be 18 or older.
The vice president’s visit comes as Florida this weekend overtook New York as the state with the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases. Miami-Dade County has been one of the epicenters of the virus in the state. The county reported 2,560 new cases on Monday for a total of 107,315 and 1,404 total deaths.
As for a vaccine, Pence said federal authorities had ramped up the normal time it takes to develop a vaccine, in part by assisting financially. However, Pence and Stephen Hahn, a physician and commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said that an expedited time frame wouldn’t result in an untested, unsafe vaccine. Hahn said only scientists would “call the balls and strikes” related to vaccine development.
“FDA scientists in our Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research will not cut corners. Let me just stress that — will not cut corners in order to evaluate a vaccine,” Hahn said.
Even though Pence’s visit was focused on COVID-19, the optics of the trip became political fodder for Republicans and Democrats. Democrats blasted Pence’s visit and continued to hammer DeSantis for pushing to reopen brick-and-mortar schools. They also faulted him for reopening the state’s economy too soon.
“The vice president’s visit is just a mere distraction, trying to highlight what they think is a Hail Mary approach to dealing with this crisis by finding a vaccine instead of doing the hard work and taking care of the basics that are absolutely essential to get this pandemic under control,” state Rep. Javier Fernandez, D-South Miami, said.
If the vaccine works, the FDA will approve. The CDC has a task of finding out who gets injected first. The focus may be on the most vulnerable.
A research officer says he expects to know if it works in 6 months.
“It’s always better to air on the safe side. But with the early promising results, I think we can be a little bit optimistic,” Dr. Ihor Sawczuk with Hackensack Meridian Health said.
(©2020 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)
- Vice President Mike Pence talks religious freedom at Ave Maria University
- Vice President Mike Pence to visit Ave Maria University today
- Is Vice President Mike Pence a decent guy? LGBTQ stance draws critics
- Listen to audio: Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Ave Maria University
- Pence Visits Miami and Democrats Kill Their White House 2020 Chances With Dumb Venezuela Talk
- The Latest: Pence going to Miami to meet with Venezuelans
- Mike Pence says no to family separations as he tours border in Arizona
- Mike Pence in Colombia announces new sanctions on Maduro
- Mike Pence to meet with ICE officials in Houston during Texas visit Friday
- Midwest flooding: Vice President Pence to visit Nebraska
- Iowa flooding: Mike Pence tours damages, calls on Congress for relief
- FGCU President Mike Martin trying to figure when to step down
- Pence announces new sanctions on Venezuelan president and allies
- Trump heads to Miami to speak on Venezuela
- Today in History: February 13, 2019
- POLITICO Playbook: BREAKDOWN: Talks to keep government open stall, with deadline just days away
- Pence to Speak at Taylor University Commencement
- Buttigieg on Pence: ‘I’m not critical of his faith; I’m critical of bad policies'
- POLITICO Playbook: Why Mueller’s end is only the beginning
- POLITICO Playbook PM: Pence plans Venezuela trip to pressure Maduro
‘Today Is A Day Of Hope’: Vice President Mike Pence During Visit To University Of Miami Marking Beginning Of Phase 3 COVID-19 Vaccine Trials have 899 words, post on miami.cbslocal.com at July 27, 2020. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.