UMB Highlights

COVID-19: UMSOM Working with Pfizer on Vaccine Development

The University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) is one of only two institutions in the United States initiating clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine. Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH, and Kirsten Lyke, MD, as well as UMSOM student David Rach (pictured above), recently were interviewed on Good Morning America and other news stations as testing began for a COVID-19 vaccine.

"We are excited to begin testing these vaccine candidates against COVID-19. The research is on a fast track given the extreme consequences of this pandemic and the critical need for preventive measures," said Neuzil, the Myron, M. Levine, MD, DTPH, Professor in Vaccinology, professor of medicine and pediatrics, and director of UMSOM's Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health. Neuzil and Lyke, professor of medicine, are the investigators for the vaccine trial, which is recruiting and screening for participants. The first participant was vaccinated May 4.

The trial is starting with healthy people between the ages of 18 and 55. But as safety is established in that population, it will expand to an older group of study participants - people up to age 85. The researchers will investigate different dosages and types of the vaccine candidates to learn which one is best tolerated and produces the strongest immune response.

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