University of Miami is looking for volunteers to test COVID-19 vaccines

DORAL, FL – The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is looking for volunteers to test COVID-19 vaccines as part of a nationwide study led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases COVID-19 Prevention Network.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, in which UM will be involved now, is in its third phase of clinical trials and is part of a 30,000-person study that aims at confirming if the vaccine is effective in preventing someone from getting sick with the disease.

However, the potential vaccine, as stated by the media, is not intended for healing someone who is currently sick with the novel coronavirus.

According to The Associated Press, “it is considered to be the world’s largest study of a potential COVID-19 vaccine so far.”

The Miami Herald reported that UM’s research team during the trials will be led by infectious disease expert and associate professor of clinical medicine Dr. Susanne Doblecki-Lewis, and Dr. Maria Alcaide.

Doblecki-Lewis said to the Herald that the university’s first clinical trial, scheduled to start later this month, will “inject 1,000 people with the potential Moderna COVID-19 vaccine”, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc.

“As an infectious disease physician, I think this is one of the most important initiatives of my career. All of us every single day see the impact around us of COVID-19, and the development of the vaccine has to be one of our highest priorities,” Doblecki-Lewis stated. “It’s the only way that we can end this.”

About the requirements the volunteers must meet to be part of this study, the University of Miami said is looking for people of any gender, race or ethnicity who are at least 18 and have not tested positive for COVID-19.

The university is expecting that at least 25% of the volunteers are older than 65. People who have “co-morbidities”, such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity that put them at higher risk of developing  COVID-19, can also apply. 

About the procedures participants will undertake, it was said that each one of them will receive a shot in the arm and will then receive a second injection 28 days later.

None of them will be exposed to COVID-19, but they need to notify researchers of any side effects they experience after receiving the shots. Researchers will contact volunteers for around two years to confirm if they developed any COVID-19 symptom, as reported by the Miami Herald.

People interested in volunteering for this trial, can sign up  at https://www.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org

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