COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial at Ascension St. Vincent’s looking for more participants

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — One of 89 Moderna studies nationwide is underway at Birmingham’s Ascension St. Vincent’s.

Researchers say people over the age of 65 are well represented in the trial but they are looking for more participants.

“We are looking for other groups that are at high risk. We are looking for first responders, police officers, health care workers, and nurses,” Dr. Tim Bode with Ascension St. Vincent’s said.

The African-American and Hispanic communities are also a target group with these populations more likely to contract or become seriously ill from the virus.

In this trial called the “Cove Study,” researchers are studying the effect of MRNA-1273 vaccine. The vaccine is being developed by Moderna.

The trial is placebo-controlled, meaning only half of the population will be administered the vaccine.

“Because we are in Phase 3 of the trial, There have been other steps that have shown that it’s safe at this point not that it’s been fully studied by any means, but the early preliminary data has brought it to Phase 3. We are comfortable at this point moving forward,” Dr. Bode said.

The study goes beyond just finding a vaccine for COVID-19. It’s also helping to prepare the medical field for the future.

“Going to be extremely useful in the rapid development of future vaccines for whatever comes along and nobody’s optimistic enough to think this is the last pandemic that’s ever going to happen,” Dr. Leland Allen with Ascension St. Vincent’s said.

For those interested in becoming a participant in the trial, click here.


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