WELLINGTON, Fla. — Palm Beach County is among 20 sites in the United States selected to take part in a human trial to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, and they are looking for volunteers.
A Wellington doctor is part of the study.
"The country needs a vaccine to put this pandemic behind us," said Dr. Larry Bush, an infectious disease specialist and research investigator in Wellington.
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Bush is helping start one of just two COVID-19 vaccine trials in Florida.
"Within a few weeks, we're going to be launching a trial right here, and we're looking for slightly over 1,500 people to get enrolled," Bush said. "They're looking for people above 18, in other words not pediatric age, to over 65, they can have underlying conditions as long as they’re well under control."
Bush said the still-unnamed research company is now ready for the third phase of testing for a vaccine, which he said is showing promise.
"The key is they’re looking for a lot of areas where there is a lot of COVID, and where the people in that area have increased risk," Bush said.
At the Boynton Beach Mall, the Palm Beach County Health Care District set a milestone of 60,000 COVID-19 tests since March. Those in the line waiting had mixed feelings about taking part in the trial.
"I would love to absolutely yeah," Claudia Fehriback said.
"I feel like it might be a little rushed," Zoey Zielinski said.
Bush said the vaccine in development for the trial is safe.
"The vaccine of this particular trial is going to be using does not carry a live virus as far as COVID, therefore you cannot get infected with the (virus)," Bush said.
He also said if the trial goes well, it is possible the vaccine could gain government approval early next year.
The number to apply for the COVID-19 vaccine trial based in Wellington is 561-770-7370.