How to volunteer for coronavirus vaccine studies

First phase 3 trial of a coronavirus vaccine Started this week, it is over with plans to enroll more than 30,000 volunteers – with more Phase 3 trials expected to begin soon. Although we are all expecting a safe, effective vaccine as soon as possible, the only way to find out if it is safe and effective is for volunteers to give it a try.

Human vaccine testing, such as drug testing, Come in three steps. In the first two, researchers figure out the appropriate dose, make sure that none of the side effects are too severe and, of course, this vaccine affects the immune response. The third stage is the “definitive test”, physician scientist John Cook Told us. This includes a large number of volunteers who receive either the experimental vaccine or the placebo; In this way we get to know if the vaccine actually works in the real world.

What happens if you volunteer?

The first phase is filling out a screening questionnaire that will help researchers find out if you are the kind of volunteer they are looking for. Every study has its own eligibility criteria based on things like age and health history. You can see the criteria for modern testing Here, on its entry to

The Coronavirus Prevention Network maintains a registry of volunteers for vaccine and antibody tests across the country, and You can sign up here.

The process of attending and participating in the test will include visits to the research center – typically visits of 10 or a year or more. These visits may include physical examination, blood draw and injection or infection. Volunteers are paid for their time. The Coronavirus Prevention Network does not pay a specific amount, as salaries vary by study and location, but payments for long-term studies can range in the hundreds of dollars.

When you sign up for a research study – whether for a vaccine or something else – the study will be explained to you with a clear discussion of the risks and benefits, and you will be able to ask questions. You can always say or withdraw from study at any time.

Will people be exposed to the virus as part of the test?

You will not be given a virus. Studies that intentionally infect people are called challenge studies, and they are Not currently being considered For COVID-19 vaccine trials.

The whole idea of ​​a vaccine test, however, is to see if it protects you from the virus. The study intends to accept only those who Is not So far COVID-19 was; They will then wait to see if you get it.

Is this a good chance or risky?

It is possibly both. If you are lucky, you may end up with a test arm that turns out to be the actual vaccine (instead of the placebo) and the vaccine may work. Congratulations!

But you can get the vaccine, and find that the vaccine has harmful side effects. On the bright side, there is information that researchers should know — and perhaps your experience will eliminate harmful vaccines, or a better understanding of who can be harmed by vaccines on rare occasions, and Why

Or maybe you will get a placebo. There is no way to know. You may also get a vaccine, and the vaccine is not for your protection. You certainly should not act as if you are safe only because you are participating in a vaccine trial.

Trying to get a new vaccine is an inherently risky proposition, and is the reason for a thorough test – so that a treatment can be tested first on those who know what they agree with and who all The risks and benefits are well understood rather than rolled out.


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