KU medical school needs volunteers to test promising COVID-19 vaccine

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Researchers at the University of Kansas medical school will begin testing one of the more promising vaccines for COVID-19 in the next two weeks. Doctors say they’re excited by this trial.

There are five potential vaccines currently supported by the National Institutes of Health. KU will begin testing one of them, a vaccine developed at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

KU Medical Center hopes to enroll 1,250 participants in the next 60 days to test the vaccine, which is being mass-produced by drugmaker Astra Zeneca. The health system has a couple of mobile vans and doctors will be driving across Kansas to register older folks in nursing homes and other care facilities.

If all goes well, doctors are hopeful a successful vaccine can be distributed to the general public early next year.

“I do believe this vaccine is going to work,” said Dr. Mario Castro, vice president of clinical research at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. “I do believe it’s going to change our pandemic. Change the curve. It’s the only thing that will let us get back to normal soon.”

The study involves two injections, four weeks apart, and nine visits with researchers. Anyone 18 or older who has to be out-and-about during the pandemic can sign up to be part of the solution.

Not everyone will get the vaccine.

One-third of study participants will receive a placebo and those individuals won’t know it.
But if the vaccine proves to be safe and effective, everyone who participates in the study eventually will get it.

To become part of the trial call (913) 574-3006 or go to coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org to register. Be sure to select KUMC as your study site.

The vaccine won’t prevent you from being exposed to COVID-19. Doctors say participants still need to wear masks and practice good hygiene.

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