CLEVELAND — As Ohio coronavirus case numbers continue to set weekly records, Pastor Anthony Wiggins, who leads Friends Fellowship Bible Church in Cleveland, said hope and faith are an important part in the search for a vaccine.
Pastor Wiggins said northeast Ohioans need to take the proper precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones, and shouldn't dwell on the sobering COVID-19 numbers.
"I share this with the people of Cleveland and everyone that is listening tonight, that we just have that faith, and hope, and trust in God, and it will come to pass," Wiggins said. “We've gone through quite a bit of pain and suffering in this 2020 year of the pandemic.”
“The magnitude of the numbers, of people who have lost their lives and have been infected, yet we keep our faith in those above and not the things of this Earth.”
Wiggins has visited dozens of COVID-19 patients in nursing homes and hospitals in a four-county area and believes faith and science will work together in finding a cure.
“Our history tells us there have been cures for polio, for tuberculosis and so why would this be any different," Wiggins said.
“So God can work through the medical field, through doctors, through nurses, to wherever God wants to and he can resolve these issues, and he will; just keep your faith and trust in Him," Wiggins said.
Local health experts are just as hopeful and optimistic.
Dr. Grace McComsey, Vice President of Research with University Hospitals, touted vaccine candidates from Pfizer, initially rated as 90% effective, and Moderna, with effectiveness data expected to be released in the coming weeks, as very promising.
“As we see the numbers going up, and we are very worried about the surge, I think we were due for some good news about COVID,” McComsey said.
"We’re in very good shape in terms of a COVID vaccine that should be approved, at least for emergency use authorization, hopefully by the end of November," McComsey said. “And we have a lot of other vaccines in development, even in phase three, which is the final phase before approval. Now we have more than 10 vaccines.”
Dr. Dan Culver, Cleveland Clinic Chair of Pulmonary Medicine, also shared his optimism for an effective vaccine in the coming months.
“There is the AstraZeneca vaccine and the vaccine from Johnson and Johnson. Both of these use an entirely different technology called a viral vector,” Culver said.
Culver said he has faith in this worldwide effort — “individuals from all corners of the world coming to together to solve a common problem, and harnessing amazing technology."