Raleigh company leading research into COVID-19 booster trials

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Once again the Triangle is on the cutting edge of research in the war against the pandemic.

As government agencies and pharmaceutical companies tussle over the need for vaccine booster shots, a Raleigh company is conducting trials on those boosters and some of your neighbors are taking part in the effort.

While many Americans have only been vaccinated for about 5 months or less, some who took part in vaccine trials have had their shots for much longer.

"I was involved the first trial with Wake Research about a year ago," Carol Ignatieff told ABC11.

Ignatieff, a Raleigh nurse, got involved in the initial Pfizer trials because she thought it was patriotic.

"As an American, it is everybody's duty to be able to help their neighbor," she said.

It's not only patriotic but heroic according to one of the scientists at Wake Research, which conducts trials across the nation.

"Society as a whole owes a great debt to those who have participated in clinical trials," said Aubrey Farray. "There's no amount of compensation that we could reward these individuals for their bravery and their self-sacrifice."

It's unclear whether boosters might be allowed before the trials are finalized months from now.

"Without the FDA is buying into boosters, as of right now we're assuming that the trial will have to complete," Farray said.

It may not matter for Ignatieff.

She's pretty sure she got the real booster shot during her trial and not a placebo saying, "That night I was a little sore. I mean, arm sore, shoulder sore a little bit."

But if needed, she'd like to see others, especially those most at risk, be able to get a booster.

In the meantime, she'd also like to see more people vaccinated and help end the pandemic.

"Delta is real. And my thought is, I don't want to keep going and have a virus at some point that does not respond at all to any vaccine that we currently have," she said.

The folks at Wake Research say their ongoing trials with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine show good protection against the Delta variant.

They say that may present a good option for those hesitant about getting two shots since J&J only requires one.
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