COVID-19 News

More than 100,000 people volunteer for COVID-19 vaccine trial in 2 weeks

As of July 20, about 138,600 Americans had already volunteered to participate in clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine less than two weeks after the launch of a national effort to sign up a total of 120,000 participants to help test four vaccines beginning this fall, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).


In an effort to recruit the vast number of volunteers needed to test potential vaccines, NIAID launched the website for the Covid-19 Prevention Network July 8, where volunteers can sign up.

The Prevention Trials Network was created by combining four already existing clinical trial networks funded by the NIAID.

There will be over 100 testing sites across the U.S. with the possibility of sites opening internationally as well.

After registering on the website, volunteers are given a questionnaire that’s designed to evaluate how likely they are to become infected with the virus and whether they are eligible for the clinical trials.

A potential vaccine developed by Moderna, which recently published the results of a promising 45-person trial, is expected to be the first vaccine tested in a large Phase 3 trial. Other vaccines in line for Phase 3 trials have been developed by AstraZeneca, Inovio and Johnson & Johnson.


According to the Covid-19 Prevention Network website, most studies will require volunteers to visit a research site at least 10 times over one or two years where they will be injected with either a potential vaccine or a placebo. Researchers won’t infect volunteers with Covid-19 but rather will give volunteers the vaccine and see if that prevents them from becoming infected. According to a spokesperson from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, which serves as the operations center for the Covid-19 Prevention Network, the trials aim to be as inclusive as possible and recruit multi-generational and multi-ethnic volunteers. The researchers are also focusing on communities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic and people with underlying conditions.


“While this early response is very gratifying, it is important to note that this is just a fraction of the number of people needed to participate in various trials and ensure adequate representation of various demographic categories” said a spokesperson for the NIAID.

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