Some scientists developed DIY coronavirus vaccines--they already shared it with friends and families.
The tale of the DIY vaccine does underscore that there is official biotech, but also many people who can create and use things outside the system. I thought this sequence of photos of Don Wang (who trained at Harvard) sniffing the vaccine captured that. pic.twitter.com/2nW2hRwoIW — Antonio Regalado (@antonioregalado) July 29, 2020
One of the scientists involved is Johnny Stine, the microbiologist who runs North Coast Biologics, a Seattle biotech company that focuses on antibodies. He is also a friend of Farhad Ghatan, the mayor of a picturesque island town located in the Pacific Northwest.
The mayor invited Johnny to vaccinate him in April, more than three months before any coronavirus vaccine would enter wide clinical trials. Their transaction, which happened on the mayor's Facebook page, was followed by several Friday Harbor residents.
"Should I pop up and get your vaccine started?????," said Johnny.
"Don't worry - I'm immune - I have boosted myself five times with my vaccine," he added.
Farhad said that the offer sounds good after a few follow-up questions. Some of the residents voiced their concerns about the use of the DIY vaccine.
However, the mayor defended his friend, who has been a pharmaceutical scientist for 25 years. The residents also said that it is unfair that Stine can visit San Juan Island even though there are travel restrictions.
The scientists were charged after vaccinating 30 more people
The residents reported Johnny Stine's action to a variety of regulatory agencies and law enforcement. In June, a lawsuit was filed against him after he administered his unproven COVID-19 vaccine to 30 more people, charging him $400 each.
The George Church selfie of him taking a DIY coronavirus vaccine. This picture is a classic
This is the thread to go with it. pic.twitter.com/7xpb9zs8j6 — Antonio Regalado (@antonioregalado) July 29, 2020
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Stine about introducing his product without approval from the agency. FDA sent Stine a letter in May. However, he was not the only scientist who created DIY vaccines, providing some to themselves, friends, families, and other interested individuals.
The Rapid Deployment Vaccine Collaborative (RaDVaC) is one of the most impressively credentialed efforts, saying that it is working with George Church, one of the geneticists at Harvard.
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Written by: Giuliano de Leon.