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ABC 10News exclusive: San Diego clinic to begin trials of coronavirus vaccine

Posted at 11:28 AM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 14:28:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Dr. Scott Overcash and the staff at La Mesa-based laboratory eStudySite are preparing for what could be a history-making clinical study.

"I'm personally really excited about being in the effort to try to prevent people from getting the disease," said Overcash.

In just days, Overcash will soon be overseeing a first-of-its-kind trial of a coronavirus vaccine created by the American biotech company Moderna.

Starting as early as next week, the first of 350-500 local patients will begin receiving the vaccine.

The same one has already been given to patients in phases one and two of the trial. This is the next and possibly final step before FDA approval.

"What's a little bit different about this particular situation is that the different phases have all been sort of compressed and are all ongoing at the same time," Overcash explained.

Overall, 30,000 people around the country are expected to take part in this larger study.

Unlike earlier phases, this round is targeting a more vulnerable part of the population.

The patients taking part will belong to one of three groups: older than 65, younger but with underlying conditions or those at high risk of catching the virus because of their job.

Moderna's vaccine uses what's called messenger RNA to trick the body's cells into producing the antibodies necessary to fight the virus.

So far, this particular vaccine has shown promise, but only time will tell

"There are multiple candidate vaccines that are going to be rolling out and we're just so hopeful that at least one will be effective enough to be rolled out for use," said Overcash.

To learn how to participate in a clinical trial, visit