By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Research and trials looking for a vaccine to knock out the coronavirus are going on in South Florida.

Dr. Howard Schwartz, the Chief Medical Officer for Research Centers of America says, “We are looking for volunteers to help make a difference to help prevent and get this deadly virus that scares and impacts our lives to go away.”

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Moderna, an American biotech company, released data from a phase one trial and said a small first phase study showed those given the test vaccine did develop COVID-19 antibodies, a level of immunization.

“Tested three different drugs of the MRA vaccine to prevent participants from getting COVID. Enrolled 45 individuals in several clinical trial centers testing three different doses, which came back showing over the course of 47-day. The vaccine seems to prevent some antibody response to the COVID 19,” said Schwartz.

Trials will be conducted at the University of Miami, Suncoast Research Group in Miami, and in Hollywood, at Research Centers of America. Moderna is conducting phase two studies now and setting up for phase three.

Moderna said the vaccine was “generally safe and well-tolerated.”

“The most commonly reported systemic adverse events following second vaccination at the 100 µg (microgram) dose were fatigue (80%), chills (80%), headache (60%) and myalgia (53%), all of which were transient and mild or moderate in severity,” Moderna said in the news release. “The most common solicited local adverse event at the 100 µg dose was pain at the injection site (100%), which was also transient and mild or moderate in severity. Evaluation of clinical safety laboratory values grade 2 or higher and unsolicited adverse events revealed no patterns of concern.”

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Moderna’s next step will be a 30,000-participant Phase 3 study set to start July 27.

“We here at Research Centers of America hope to enroll 300 participants in the trials,” Schwartz said.

“Anybody who comes in contact with individuals during the course of the day would be an ideal candidate for the trial,” he adds.

Dr. Schwartz mentioned health care workers and first responders as ideal candidates. It is a year-long commitment. Some paperwork, weekly phone call checks.

Phase one showed a few side effects.

According to ClinicalTrials.gov, the following South Florida facilities will be participating:

  • Research Centers of America
    • Hollywood, Florida, United States, 33024
  • Suncoast Research Group
    • Miami, Florida, United States, 33135
  • University of Miami
    • Miami, Florida, United States, 33136
  • Palm Beach Research Center
    • West Palm Beach, Florida, United States, 33409
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If the Phase 3 trial goes well, regulators would have to give final approval. Moderna said it will have as many as a billion doses beginning next year.