U-M doctor, researcher remains optimistic about COVID-19 vaccines

As several researchers are studying and testing possible COVID-19 vaccinations, Johnson and Johnson just had to temporarily halt their research because of an unexplained illness. But a top researcher from the University of Michigan says he's still very optimistic about a vaccine. 

"We have Phase 3 trials going on everywhere. Basically, what that means, is we are one step away from making it potentially available to the general public," says Dr. Mark Moyad. He's a University of Michigan researcher, author and world leader in knowledge about supplements. He knows how research works and there is serious scrutiny. 

"Anything that goes wrong, whether it's due to the vaccine or not, has to be immediately investigated whether it's in the placebo harm or it's in the vaccine group, but there is usually an independent monitoring committee. They're made aware of any sort of adverse effects. They have these meetings privately and they decide whether or not to halt the trial, investigates whether to see if the trial can go further," Dr. Moyad said. 

The research timeline is never exact and this is why. 

"You need events to happen. You need people to get COVID, become symptomatic so you can do a comparison between the group that got vaccinated verse the group that got the placebo."

Dr. Moyad says there are several vaccines in Phase 3 trials right now, which has the medical world very excited. But he's particularly hopeful about this Johnson and Johnson vaccine and hopes the trial can resume. 

"It's our only vaccine right now in Phase 3 that requires one injection; it's not two it's one and done and the other ones are two right now. So I'm just so hopeful that this is an ancillary, non-related event. That's my hope."

There is so much research going on right now, Dr. Moyad says he's also very excited about the role supplements might play in slowing down the virus, or making the illness less severe. As soon as he gets solid data he's sharing that with us.