Brooke Army Medical Center and Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center are two of five sites selected by the U.S. Department of Defense for Phase III of COVID-19 vaccine trials.
A volunteer in South Africa receives a COVID-19 test vaccine injection developed at the University of Oxford in Britain. Patents on potential COVID-19 vaccines have the potential to raise prices on vaccines, creating obstacles for their use, particularly in developing countries.
As part of Operation Warp Speed, which is focused on delivering safe and effective vaccines by January 2021, the DOD has picked five locations to test AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate, AZD1222.
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Naval Medical Center San Diego, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital are joining the two San Antonio sites in the trials, according to DOD.
“The Department of Defense continues to play a key role in the development of a potential COVID-19 vaccine,” Honorable Tom McCaffery, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, said in a release. “Now that vaccines have passed the first phases of testing for safety, dosing and response, we are ready to move into the next phase where volunteers are needed to join large clinical studies. We are excited to have several sites identified to support the next steps in the vaccine development process.”
The DOD says the participation from members of communities hit hardest by the virus is “critical” to ensure the vaccine works. The trial is looking for people who are essential workers, live in densely populated areas or congregate settings, have underlying health conditions or are members of racial/ethnic groups like African Americans, Latino and Native American populations.
AstraZeneca is looking to enroll up to 30,000 adults for the trial of the vaccine. Participants will be administered two doses of either the potential vaccine or saline control at random, four weeks apart, the pharmaceutical company says. Twice as many volunteers will be given the AZD1222 than the saline control.
“The trial is assessing efficacy and safety of the potential vaccine in all participants, and local and systemic reactions and immune responses will be assessed in 3,000 participants,” AstraZeneca says.
Those interested in volunteering are asked to visit the Coronavirus Prevention Network website to complete the survey. Once submitted, local coordinators will contact volunteers who are a good match for the trial.