Providence-based EpiVax developing 2 coronavirus vaccines, needs more funding

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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 millions needed to ensure the vaccine is safe and effective.

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