‘Landmark Achievement’: Local Clinical Research Company Participated in Promising Moderna COVID-19 Trial | FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV

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LENEXA, Kan. – A week after Pfizer announced the results of its COVID-19 vaccine trial, biotech company Moderna Therapeutics says it has also developed a COVID-19 vaccine that is 94.5% effective in preventing disease. Some of these tests were done here in the metro.

“It was definitely a thrill,” said Dr. Carlos Fierro, principal investigator at Johnson County Clin-Trials.

He is among the clinical research companies participating in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial, which he calls a landmark achievement with positive results for him, his team and the public.

“It feels good to have been able to contribute to this effort which I believe will save countless lives,” said Fierro.

30,000 people have been tested as part of the Moderna vaccine trial. Half of the volunteers received two doses of the vaccine 28 days apart, the other half received a placebo.

Moderna vaccine volunteer Matthew Leisman and his 84-year-old father, who live together, both volunteered for the trial. They received their blows in August and September.

“After the second shot he had a red bullet on his arm which I didn’t put on mine,” said young Leisman. “So originally I thought maybe it was just because of an age difference.”

Leisman started showing symptoms of COVID-19 on November 7 and tested positive for the virus. Her father remains asymptomatic.

“So at that point, I realized I more than likely had the placebo, not the vaccine,” Leisman said.

Fierro said volunteers and clinical researchers don’t know who got what at this point, but the Leismans are being watched and their results will contribute to the final results of the vaccine trial.

Finding a vaccine has been what Fierro calls a massive effort from the highest levels of government down to ordinary citizens. He considers volunteers to be heroes.

“There are still vaccination efforts out there,” Fierro said. “When you participate in a clinical trial, you are doing a tremendous service to our community, to society, and you really contribute to this research. Ultimately, that means you are helping to save lives.

Fierro said the Moderna trial has been strong, provided high quality data, and he believes the vaccine is safe.

Moderna is seeking emergency approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration. If granted, the vaccine could be ready for distribution in late December.


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