San Diegans can participate in AstraZeneca vaccine trial

Posted at 5:14 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 20:53:28-05

SAN DIEGO — San Diegans can participate in AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine trial, which recently showed 90 percent effectiveness under a certain dosage.

AstraZeneca announced Monday that its vaccine was 90 percent effective when participants started with a half dose, followed by a full dose at least four weeks later. It is currently seeking participants through UC San Diego Health and other partners for its ongoing trials. Full doses given four weeks apart were 62 percent effective in the trial.

“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives," said Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, in a statement released by AstraZeneca. "Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90 percent effective and if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply."

Elana Godebu, a UC San Diego urologist, said she has seen the impacts of Coronavirus firsthand. She is currently practicing at El Centro Regional Medical Center, affiliated with UC San Diego. She says the center is filling up because of a rise in local cases and patients coming up from Mexico. The state recently built a 50-bed tent in the parking lot for non-Covid patients.

Godebu got the first dose of the vaccine two weeks ago, which also could have been a placebo.

"Personally I've seen my friends and my colleagues and my patients, they've gotten sick, they've lost family, they've lost friends, and so we got the AstraZenica trial out in El Centro," she said.

Godebu said she encourages anyone who has an opportunity to get the vaccine to take advantage.

"If we try to get to herd immunity the other way we're going to lose so many people," she said.

AstraZenica is the latest drugmaker to report strong efficacy. Earlier this month, Pfizer and Moderna said their trials were 95 percent effective.

AstraZenica says its vaccine could separate from the others because it can be transported, handled and stored at regular refrigerated temperatures and administered in regular health care settings.