- Large coronavirus vaccine studies are going to take place throughout the summer and fall, and there is now a website where you can register for a chance to volunteer.
- More than one million Americans are expected to register for these COVID-19 vaccine studies, and tens of thousands will be chosen to participate.
- Moderna could start the first large-scale coronavirus vaccine study by the end of July.
Many countries have managed to take control of their novel coronavirus outbreaks, but the pandemic won’t end until we have a vaccine. The good news is that some of the world’s top health experts expect a safe and effective vaccine to be ready for public consumption by the beginning of 2021. Last month, NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci stated he was “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine could even be ready before the end of the year.
Of course, in order for a vaccine to be deemed safe and effective, it has to go through extensive testing, and whether you want to help the rest of the world or simply take an experimental vaccine yourself, you may soon have the option to do so. On Wednesday, coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org went live, giving Americans the chance to sign up for a series of vaccine clinical trials expected to take place throughout the summer and fall.
As the website explains, the trials are being run by the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN), which “was formed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the US National Institutes of Health to respond to the global pandemic.” If you are interested in participating, you can register here, but you’ll have to sign a consent form first and then complete a survey. The survey includes questions about where you live, your job, your past and present health, and your contact information. 1.5 million people are expected to register.
According to CNN, there will be more than 100 study sites across the US and abroad, and once you have registered, your information will be sent to the site closest to your address. The goal of a Phase 3 trial is to see whether or not a vaccine candidate keeps people from becoming infected, so those who work from home or are rarely around others aren’t especially valuable test subjects, as their chances of being infected were already low.
“We need people who are black and brown and representative of harder hit communities by the pandemic,” said Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum, medical director of the Moderna trial at University of Cincinnati Health.
Moderna was expected to kick off one of the first large-scale coronavirus vaccine trials this week, but the date was pushed back to late July or early August. Once the trials do begin, Dr. Richard Novak, lead investigator of the clinical trial at University of Illinois at Chicago, says that volunteers will receive two injections a month apart. Half will take two doses of the vaccine, and the other half will take placebos. The study will last for two years, and volunteers will keep a weekly diary of their symptoms, speak with staff regularly, and will be tested a total of seven times. In order to get the results that the biotech company is looking for, they will need tens of thousands of people to participate.