SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – As the pandemic continues clinics across Siouxland, officials are conducting antibody testing and vaccine trials to better understand COVID-19.
Andrew Kimball, the vice president of business development for Meridian Clinical Research, said people who get involved in clinical trials become part of the solution.
“In any vaccine program, the goal is to develop efficacy and immunity towards whatever disease we are studying… We don’t know what the effects of a COVID vaccine will look like, and that’s what we’re trying to determine is whether this will be something that will need to be a yearly vaccine or if you can be immunized once and then be good for the rest of your life,” Kimball said.
Dr. Larry Volz with MercyOne Siouxland said antibodies are a protein a body develops once it’s been infected by a virus. He said drawing blood can determine whether a person has the antibody but he said antibody testing has certain challenges with COVID-19.
“The challenge that we have with COVID-19 is that you may have the antibody. We just don’t know yet whether that antibody is going to keep you from getting sick again,” Dr. Volz said.
For vaccine trials, Kimball said they are working to develop immunity from COVID-19 or, at the very least, minimize the risks and effects of the virus.
He said trials typically take several visits over the course of a year and participants are compensated. There are several clinics across Siouxland conducting vaccine trials and antibody testing.