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National Research Institute’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Mark Leibowitz, Shares His Experience as Principal Investigator for COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–National Research Institute (NRI) has participated in the enrollment of multiple COVID-19 vaccine trials, two of which have been led by NRI’s Chief Medical Officer, Mark Leibowitz, M.D. as Principal Investigator. Dr. Leibowitz has over 25 years of research experience and has participated in an estimated 500 studies from Phase I-IV across a variety of indications. As Principal Investigator for recent COVID-19 vaccine studies, Dr. Leibowitz answers frequently asked questions and shares his expert opinion on vaccine research, safety, and benefits.

What can you share about your experience as principal investigator for the COVID-19 vaccine trials?

It has been quite interesting and exciting because with most of the studies I have been involved with, you really do not find out whether a drug is going to be approved or not for many months or years, mostly years. So, this is a very unusual situation where you know within a very short period. This is a major health crisis right now, and to be able to get these drugs to the market and save lives in real time really makes a big difference.

Why are there multiple types of vaccines being developed?

Some companies are looking at older technology for vaccines. The newer vaccines, which involve messenger RNA, were initially developed for other viral indications; none have been marketed for those other indications, but they felt that kind of a platform would work well. It allows faster development and ramping up productions, so definitely advantages.

What can someone expect after being vaccinated?

The vaccines, which are currently available under emergency use authorization, are very well tolerated. It is not unusual to have some injection site soreness. Other possible symptoms include flu-like symptoms. Some people will notice that after the second vaccine, symptoms may be more prominent but again, generally short lived, meaning they recover quickly. In most instances they are symptoms which people can take some over the counter analgesics to handle any discomfort.

Will you be getting the vaccine?

I have actually already gotten my first dose. Most physicians I know are getting the vaccine as well. I think it is critical for us to reach what they call herd immunity, which means the population would be overall protected. I think the vaccine is worth getting and encourage people to get it, as it has shown to be very effective and will ultimately help everyone.

About National Research Institute

National Research Institute’s mission is to provide access to innovative therapies and to bring hope to our community through clinical research. Our multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural organization ensures the utmost commitment to patient care, safety, and well-being. Located in Los Angeles, Huntington Park, Panorama City, and Santa Ana, NRI has conducted clinical trials for over 30 years. Our patients have benefited from participating in the advancement of life-saving medicines, many of which are now commercially available.


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