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OU Medicine working on coronavirus vaccine, OUHSC provost says in media briefing

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Coronavirus COVID-19 (copy)

OU Medicine announced two agreements it is working on that will help facilitate the creation of a vaccine for the coronavirus.

Jason Sanders, senior vice president and provost of the OU Health Sciences Center, described the two ongoing efforts at a Tuesday media briefing broadcast on Facebook.

"I want you and our listeners to know, (to be) the first to know," Sanders said, "that we are in the final negotiations of an agreement between Dr. William Hildebrand, an OU Health Sciences Center researcher, and Pure MHC to identify novel targets for a therapeutic vaccine against COVID-19. We will give you more information as it becomes available."

Sanders said a separate effort is underway to develop clinical targets that could test vaccines developed elsewhere.

"We are also finalizing an agreement with another researcher to begin pre-clinical testing of another COVID-19 vaccine to help bring a vaccine to patients as quickly as possible," Sanders said.

According to the World Health Organization, people can avoid the disease through hand-washing, social distancing, keeping hands away from the face, practicing respiratory hygiene and seeking medical care quickly if symptoms — including fever, cough and difficulty breathing — arise.

Illness due to the coronavirus is generally mild, especially for children and young adults, according to the WHO. But it can cause serious illness — about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care, and older people are at increased risk to experience serious illness.

Updates on the coronavirus can be found at oudaily.com/coronavirus and from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Jordan Miller contributed to this report.

Scott Kirker is a letters and Spanish senior and assistant news managing editor for The Daily. Previously he worked as summer editor-in-chief and as a news reporter covering research and administrative searches.

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