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Research continues at Mayo Clinic for COVID-19 vaccine, treatments

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The coronavirus continues to impact our daily lives, making finding treatment the number one priority at Mayo.

Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 research task force gave an update Friday on the efforts underway.

Dr. Andrew Badley says a lot of COVID-19 related research is going on at Mayo right now, everything from studying the virus itself, to predicting where the next hotspot will be and possible treatments or vaccines.

"Virtually any kind of research that you can think of, is probably going on at Mayo right now," said Dr. Badley.

Doctors and researchers at Mayo Clinic are hard at work, along with other doctors around the globe, to find a vaccine and possible treatment options for the COVID-19 virus.

"In the treatment arena, we have evaluated a large number of potential treatments for COVID," said Dr. Badley. "There are two broad classes of therapies that we are considering. One is to stop the virus from replicating and we have a number of those in clinical trials at present. Another class of drugs are drugs that target immune response and the inflammation that occurs in patients with COVID disease."

In the last few days, there were positive reports of an experimental therapy called Remdesivir.

"We do not yet know the results of it in the context of the clinical trial," said Dr. Badley. "But we and many other centers are contributing to that and the results from that trial should be analyzed and available within a few short weeks."

A vaccine, on the other hand, has a much longer timeline.

"If you mean having a vaccine that goes into patients to be tested, we're probably not that far off," said Dr. Badley. "If you mean a vaccine that works and prevents infection it's going to take a period of time to test these vaccines to determine if they are effective or not."

So, what makes COVID-19 so hard to figure out?

"Probably the trickiest part is the speed with which it came onto the scene," said Dr. Badley. "The speed with which it can spread between populations and how sick some people get when they are infected."

Dr. Badley recommends everyone continue to follow CDC guidelines by staying six feet apart from each other and wearing masks when in public places where you can come in contact with another person.

Sarah Gannon

Sarah Gannon

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