Erica Armstrong, research assistant in the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, pipettes a solution into small tubes of suspended B cells, a first step in the effort to isolate B cells from human serum that produce coronavirus-neutralizing antibodies.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded Tennessee more than $61.7 million to support local COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

The funding is part of a $3 billion investment from the federal government meant to install programs that increase vaccine uptake and distribution equity, and was made available by the American Rescue Plan and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, according to the CDC. 

The federal government has mandated that 60 percent of the funding go to local health departments and that 75 percent focuses on increasing access and vaccine uptake, especially among minority and underserved communities. 

Feds reserve 700K doses of antibody treatment discovered at VUMC

The United States government has purchased 700,000 doses of a COVID-19 therapy that was discovered at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The investigational monoclonal antibody cocktail is currently in late-stage clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe after being developed by AstraZeneca, and preliminary results from those studies will be released in upcoming months. If authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, the treatment would be the second on the market for mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in an outpatient setting. 

The U.S. Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services will pay nearly $726 million for the development and supply of the initial doses.

“We are excited to see that the antibodies we discovered here on campus are poised to be used widely in the population with U.S. government support, if the current clinical trials are successful,” said James Crowe, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, which first isolated six the long-acting antibodies being used by AstraZeneca in investigational treatments.

(Nashville Post)

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