Providence-based EpiVax developing 2 coronavirus vaccines, needs more funding
by: Sarah Doiron, Logan Wilber

Posted: Mar 19, 2020 / 06:00 PM EDT / Updated: Mar 19, 2020 / 06:33 PM EDT

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ As the country races to stem the spread of the coronavirus, a Providence-based company is working diligently to create two vaccines against the potentially deadly disease.

EpiVax founder and CEO Dr. Anne De Groot tells Eyewitness News that without a vaccine, the virus is “very dangerous.”

“This virus is killing somewhere between two to four people per every 100. That’s very different from influenza,” she explained. “It’s not like the flu. We need to build immunity through vaccines and vaccines are extremely important.”

De Groot said one of the vaccines EpiVax is creating is tailored specifically toward those who work in healthcare.

“They’re the first line of defense against the virus, so we want to give them something that will actually generate what we call ‘immune system body armor,’” she said.

A vaccine could be ready in five to six months, according to De Groot, but it all depends on funding. She said she’s actively making her case to the federal government for the more than $300 million needed to ensure the vaccine is safe and effective.

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