Jacksonville musicians urging people to get vaccinated as fourth shot becomes available

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A fourth COVID-19 vaccine is on its way to the FDA for full approval after an advisory committee endorsed the shot.

RELATED: FDA vaccine committee to consider approval of fourth COVID-19 vaccine

This vaccine is different from other vaccines on the market. It’s a protein therapeutic vaccine, instead of mRNA.

“Because it’s just a protein, not an actual virus, you’re at no risk of getting sick with the virus from the injection,” Dr. Michael Koren said.

Dr. Koren, of the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research, helped spearhead the clinical research study on Novavax in Jacksonville. Locally, 500 people participated, including Carren Reale.

“That’s the whole point — is to be part of something that you can help all of mankind with,” Reale said.

Health experts are hopeful this shot could be the one that convinces those who oppose or are hesitant about vaccinations to roll up their sleeves.

“It’s an important concept that this is a long-term fight,” Dr. Koren said. “It’s not just one and done.”

Mark Williams, a Jacksonville musician, recently went to Dr. Koren’s research center to talk with doctors. He asked how we can ensure that something like the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t happen again.

“He got very interested in what we’re doing, research, and said you know everybody should know about these vaccine programs,” Dr. Koren said. “They allow us to get together. They allow me to entertain people.”

RELATED: Moderna announces omicron-specific COVID-19 booster shot

Williams said his career took a big hit during the peak of the pandemic.

“COVID had really knocked us for a loop, financially as musicians and singer-songwriters,” Williams said. “Our careers were taken away for basically two years.”

STORY: Students can win up to $6,400 in scholarships during James Weldon Johnson Young Writers Festival

The research center and Jacksonville-based musicians are now hosting an event to educate people on COVID-19 vaccines.

The two groups will host “Rockin’ 4 Research” on July 22 at 4 p.m. at 4085 University Blvd. S.

There will be live music, health screenings and free food. CLICK HERE for more information.