LENEXA, KS — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine Friday, after months of data collection from clinical research sites like the Johnson County Clin-Trials.
The Lenexa-based clinical research company has been part of Moderna’s phase three trial.
According to Dr. Carlos Fierro, a lead investigator, almost 600 volunteers from across the Kansas City metro participated in the trial.
“Anytime you get the opportunity to contribute to the solution of the problem that’s really damaging the health, that is taking lives not only in your local community but globally, you have to take that seriously,“ Fierro said.
The Moderna trial is scheduled to last for two years. Half of the participants were given the COVID-19 vaccine while the other half were given a placebo.
Sean Claycamp is one of the hundreds who volunteered locally to be part of the trial.
Claycamp does not know whether he received the vaccine or the placebo, but he has not had any side effects.
“I just did what I thought was the right thing to do at the time. I don’t know, maybe my kids will be like, ‘look what dad did.’ But I am glad I was able to be apart of it,” Claycamp said.
Moderna is the second company to receive emergency use authorization by the FDA for a COVID-19 vaccine. Last week, the FDA gave the green light to Pfizer for it’s vaccine.
The two vaccines are similar and require two doses to be effective. The Pfizer vaccine requires storage at -94 degrees Fahrenheit, while the Moderna vaccine can be stored in a typical freezer.
“When you have vaccines that work through different mechanisms, you find that over time some vaccines are better suited for certain groups of people,” Fierro said.
“People with certain co-morbidities may do better with a vaccine that works one way, other groups of people with the other. That option to have different types of vaccines means that the diversity of patients is better addressed," he said.