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Doctors at South Hills facility helping clinical trials for new COVID-19 vaccine

PLEASANT HILLS, Pa. — Doctors at Preferred Primary Care Physicians in Pleasant Hills are assisting in the clinical trial and explained how the Novavax vaccine is different from the other vaccines.

“The safety profile for the Novavax vaccine is very promising. There are no reported incidents of heart inflammation or blood clotting,” said Alan Abraham, the director of clinical research at Preferred Primary Care Physicians.

“The side effects are far less severe and less frequent. We are also seeing injection site pain and minor fatigue, but nothing like the flu-like symptoms of some of the other reported vaccines.”

Doctors said the Novavax vaccine would be two shots given three weeks apart. Research done so far has shown it to be just as good as the other vaccines in protecting against the omicron variant.

A big advantage of this vaccine is that it does not need to be frozen like others.

“It can be kept in a refrigerator — in fact, the doctor can keep it in the fridge for six months,” said Dr. Bryce Palchick, with Preferred Primary Care Physicians.

Palchick also mentioned some of his patients are still hesitant to get the shot for religious reasons, but said no fetal tissue was used in making this vaccine.

Right now, his office is focusing on the Novavax vaccine clinical trial for ages 12-17. It will probably be months before it’s approved. A 15-year-old student at Penn Hills told me why it means so much to him to participate in this trial.

“A few of my family members have had COVID — my cousin, my aunt and her husband had it, so it’s been a real big toll on my family,” said Aiden Doloughty.

Novavax plans to submit the adult version of its vaccine for emergency use authorization to the FDA for approval early next week.

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