Baylor College of Medicine doctors move forward with vaccine candidates

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Many companies are quickly working to find a COVID-19 vaccine, but for a team of doctors and scientists at Baylor College of Medicine, researching a cure has been in the works for a decade.

"About a decade ago we took on this coronavirus vaccine because we knew [the] coronavirus was going to be a big problem, yet nobody was interested in them," said professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of Texas Children's center for vaccine development Dr. Peter Hotez.

Hotez and his colleagues have already been making SARs and MERS vaccines.

"Then, when we got word about COVID-19, we saw that the sequence for the new virus was similar to some of the viruses that we were already making vaccines for," he said.

With that background, Hotez and his team were able to quickly move on to creating a COVID-19 vaccine. On Thursday, they announced a partnership with a large vaccine producer in India.

"They have the capacity to make a billion doses of the vaccine that we've developed at Baylor College of Medicine," he said. "We're very worried that a lot of the low and middle income countries will be kind of pushed aside if we only rely on the Operation Warp Speed vaccines so we think what we do at Texas Children's and Baylor is fill that critically important gap."

It took a team with relentless dedication to get to this point.

"This is really the product of their amazing commitment," said Hotez.

The vaccine is still in trials in India with the hope that it will be able to roll out sometime next year.

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