COVID-19 vaccine work underway at Bozeman Health

Bozeman Health
Posted at 7:08 AM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 09:08:38-04

BOZEMAN — Only a select few of hospitals around the world are currently working on a vaccine for COVID-19 -- and one of those hospitals is right here in Montana.

With more and more people dying every day from the coronavirus, a lot of people are wondering how close are we to finding a vaccine.

“We may be able to edge Anthony Fauci’s predictions by a nose. He thinks it’ll be mid-winter, and I’m hoping that we can have one that we can begin to deploy by the end of the year. But that’s really splitting hairs. It’s not going to be really fast,” explained Dr. David King, the medical director of clinical research at Bozeman Health.

Doctors and researchers at Bozeman Health are one of a few select hospitals around the world currently working on a vaccine for the virus.

“There are some 120 sites in the world that are doing this particular project. Quite a bit fewer than that in the United States, and we’re lucky to be one of them,” Dr. King said.

That’s for a possible vaccine for the coronavirus, which is different than treatment or a cure.

“A vaccine essentially is an attempt to prevent disease. Treatment is what tools you use to help people get over it once when they’re already sick with something, and a cure," Dr. King explained.

"You don’t need a cure if you prevent it in the first place. So, a cure is when we determine that you’ve successfully rid your body of the offending organism and its effects,” he added.

And what happens after a vaccine is discovered? Well, Dr. King believes that depends on the public.

“If people don’t take the vaccine, then we’ll continue to have to have social isolation, continue to have to wear masks, and continue to see people get sick and die from this,” Dr. King said.

In the meantime, officials are urging everyone to continue doing what they can and practice safety precautions.

MTN News reported in April that the University of Montana had received $2.5 million to help find a "candidate" for a COVID-19 vaccine.