Coronavirus vaccine at University of Kentucky shows positive results

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A coronavirus vaccine is showing positive results at the University of Kentucky.

It hasn’t been tested in patients yet, but the professor spearheading the project, Jerry Woodward, has high hopes.

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Woodward is a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Kentucky. He says he’s been working with a biotech company to develop a coronavirus vaccine, but the partnership didn’t start out that way.

“We’ve mainly been working on the vaccine in the context of cancer,” Woodward says.

He says they’ve tested mice, and like any good vaccine, it improved the mice’s antibodies. However, Woodward says what he’s really impressed with is the mice’s t-cell response. He says it’s rare for a vaccine to improve the body’s response in that area.

“We’re hopeful that this will be a useful vaccine to include among the many that are probably going to be out there for use,” Woodward says.

Though Woodward is confident the vaccine will be effective, he says this health crisis can’t be tackled alone.

“This is a global pandemic,” Woodward says. “We need a global response. This is too big for any one vaccine company or even country to do on their own.”

There has been buzz vaccines will come out before the year ends; Woodward says he agrees, but it takes a lot more than just producing the cure.

“Of course that’s what they show in the movies about pandemics,” says Woodward. “As soon as the scientist discovers the vaccine, the movie’s over. That’s really not the way it’s gonna happen.”

A major hurdle will be getting people to take the vaccine. Woodward says he hopes everyone does.

“Try not to fall victim to conspiracy theories and misinformation that is always out there.”