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Big Bend area clinics conduct trials to combat COVID-19

Posted at 5:13 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 18:26:43-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Drugmaker Pfizer says early data shows its COVID-19 vaccine has an effective rate of more than 90 percent.

That's a much better than expected efficacy if the trend continues.

The company says it expects to have more than a billion doses manufactured next year and it would be free to Americans.

In the Big Bend area, Bragg might be the go-to for all things testing, but at other locations in Tallahassee, you can be a part of the quest to save lives as well.

Bond Community Health now looking for people to be involved in its study aimed at preventing COVID-19 related blood clots.

"Having an effective vaccine and one so highly effective is important to gain people's confidence in getting the vaccine," said Tanya Tatum, the FAMU Public Health Director.

The Pfizer vaccine just one of four in the country right now.

Under President Trump's Operation Warp Speed, the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System is now looking for people to join Johnson and Johnson's vaccine clinical trial.

"That is absolutely the most important news I've heard in a long time," Tatum said.

That's not the only study Operation Warped Speed is bringing to the Big Bend area.

"Even if you're not in the hospital, we're finding people are going home to ride out the other symptoms of COVID and are having a stroke, clots in the legs, heart attacks," said Dr. Temple Robinson with Bond Community Health.

Now, they're asking anyone currently COVID-19 positive and over the age of 40 to join the study.

"This study looks at the benefit of giving patients a prophylactic blood thinner," Temple said.

As trials and studies continue one method is already saving lives, plasma donations.

"The convalescent plasma has really moved to the forefront as a leading option and being able to treat many of these patients who have," said Susan Forbes with OneBlood. "So we are continuing to collect and distribute COVID-19 convalescent plasma. We're doing it today and we will be doing it for the foreseeable future."

Anyone who has beat COVID-19 can help others by donating the antibodies found in their blood plasma, the best case until a vaccine is readily available to all.

OneBlood says they're in crucial need of both blood and plasma donations right now.

If you're interested in donating plasma click here.

Adults 40 and older in the Tallahassee area who are interested in participating in the study at Bond Community Health Center should contact Dr. Temple Robinson at trobinson@bondchc.com.

There are also volunteer coronavirus research opportunities with Veterans Affairs available by clicking here.

Global Coronavirus Tracker:

See map here
Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.