Texas A&M starts COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial, looking for volunteers

Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp last week offered $2.5 million to make sure the work of...
Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp last week offered $2.5 million to make sure the work of Dr. Cirillo can move forward as quickly as possible. (Photo provided by Texas A&M University System)(KBTX)
Published: May. 6, 2020 at 10:43 AM CDT
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Healthcare workers in Bryan and College Station were among the first people included in a clinical vaccine trial at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Wednesday.

The Texas A&M University System said the trials involve the widely-used tuberculosis vaccine, BCG. They also announced they are still looking for hundreds of medical professionals to volunteer as subjects in the trial.

Interested in volunteering?

Researchers are hoping the nearly century-old vaccine can mitigate the effects of COVID-19. The announcement said they hope this vaccine will allow fewer people to be hospitalized or to die from COVID-19.

“We are thankful for these first volunteers today,” said Jeffrey Cirillo, a Regent’s Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. “But we need to get the word out. This could be a game-changer.”

Dr. Gabriel Neal, Director of Texas A&M Health Family Care, oversaw Wednesday’s vaccinations of the first 50 volunteers.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center is leading a group of scientists and medical doctors with Harvard’s School of Public Health, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp kick-started the clinical trial with a $2.5 million grant from the Chancellor Research Initiative.