Henry Ford Health System is looking for volunteers to take part in a trial of potential COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna.
Moderna is being developed with federal government funding as part of Project Warp Speed. Officials say the drug has been studied in the past for use against other infections and in cancer therapy.
“It elicits a response to white blood cells, where white blood cells are able to have activity against the virus. In various animal models it’s also been shown to be protective.” — Dr. Marcus Zervos, Henry Ford Health System
Dr. Marcus Zervos is with the Henry Ford Health System. He says the vaccine is made to target a protein on the COVID-19 virus.
“Coronavirus has proteins that look like little spikes on its surface,” says Dr. Marcus Zervos, an infectious disease physician at Henry Ford Health. “This vaccine is targeted agains those spikes. What it does is it produces an immune response or an antibody response.”
He says so far the vaccine appears to create an antibody response in a small number of individuals who receive it.
“It also elicits a response to white blood cells, where white blood cells are able to have activity against the virus,” Zervos says. ”And in various animal models it’s also been shown to be protective.”
Zervos says 90 health systems nationwide are taking part in the trial and hope to enroll 30,000 volunteers over the next two months. He says anyone at least 18 years of age who has not had COVID-19 can signup for the study.