Trials underway for COVID-19 delta variant booster in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Clinical trials are taking place right now for COVID-19 booster shots, one specifically formulated for the delta variant.

This coming after an FDA advisory panel recommended a third dose of the original vaccine to those who are 65 and up, high risk, or those at high risk for exposure to the virus on Friday.

>>More on COVID-19 vaccine

Local mother and business owner Elaine Warren experienced what doctors are calling a breakthrough case, “What I had was equivalent more like a flu.”

She’s fully vaccinated but ended up contracting the virus after her son tested positive.

Warren explains, “He ended up getting really sick. I was taking care of him, of course and I figured that I was protected and ended up having symptoms.”

Luckily it didn’t hit her too hard, she says, “I at no time felt like I need to go to the hospital.”

She believes she has the vaccine to thank for that.

Dr. Michael Koren has been running clinical vaccine trials at the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research since July 2020.

There are hundreds currently participating Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster study.

“The question is whether or not the older version of the vaccine will be protective against the Delta variant,” says Dr. Koren.

But he says that answer will come out in the coming weeks thanks to the studies currently taking place all over the world.

He says 98 percent or so of the current infections here in our community are due to the delta variant.

It’s why there are also studies taking place focusing specifically on that variant.

“Instead of using the older version of the vaccine, we are using a newer version that was specifically formulated just for the Delta variant.”

LINK: Booster shot decision: What happens now; who can get a COVID-19 booster shot?

After experiencing a breakthrough case herself, Warren believes this is a great step forward if proven effective.

“I think it’s great! I think we all just need to follow the science in this pandemic.”

Dr. Koren says there are still unknowns about the possible implications and side effects of getting multiple shots. Those will be answered in the coming months through these trials.