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South Florida doctor optimistic about AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 5:22 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 17:39:48-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Encouraging news on Monday on a vaccine for the coronavirus. Drug maker AstraZeneca reported its vaccine in an overseas trial is showing somewhere between 62% and 90% effective.

That same vaccine is being tested in Palm Beach County.

"We’re in a crisis and people are stepping up to the plate the scientists and the volunteers," said Dr. Larry Bush.

Dr. Bush is the lead investigator in Palm Beach County for the AstraZeneca vaccine trial.

The new data on the later stage trials in England and Brazil now show it as highly effective.

"In the UK they’re giving two full doses," Bush said. "In other parts they gave a half dose and a full dose a month later. Our trial here in the U.S. is two full doses. We don’t have that data yet but we do know that from the two full doses over 99% of the people produce antibodies."

In addition, the AstraZeneca vaccine is not only cheaper to make, it only needs normal refrigeration, unlike Pfizer's vaccine which needs to be stored at minus 90 degrees.

Barry Synder is a Palm Beach County resident who was among the first to volunteer for the two vaccine injections –

"I think we got the vaccine. I don’t know. As you know it’s a blind study and I don’t know when we’ll find out but I haven’t changed my behavior at all. We canceled Thanksgiving, we’ve canceled out golf outings," Synder said.

The development now brings three drug makers with positive vaccine trials, and is boosting enthusiasm that several vaccines may be available in the early months of 2021.