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Clinical trial to begin in Hampton Roads for COVID-19 prevention medicine

Merck
Posted at 9:45 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 21:45:05-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A clinical trial is about to begin in Hampton Roads to help people who are unvaccinated from getting COVID-19.

The phase three trial is being done at TPMG Williamsburg.

"This is a medicine that's designed to fight the virus so you don't get symptoms or you don't develop COVID. It's more of a preventative treatment," said Dr. Vijay Subramaniam, the medical director for clinical research at TPMG Williamsburg.

The anti-viral, called Molnupiravir, helps protect unvaccinated people from getting COVID-19 if someone in their household tests positive. Adults can participate in the trial for five days and they'll be compensated.

"The concern is by the time people test positive they've already spread the virus to their household members, so the purpose of this is to prevent the virus from actually taking hold in the household members," said Subramaniam.

The medicine is a pill people will take twice a day for five days. Still, doctors say vaccines are the best defense.

"It's the next best step," said Subramaniam. "Prevention is number one, but if you can't prevent something, then you have to have some good treatments for it."

A real-life example is a child picking up the virus at school and bringing it home to unvaccinated parents. This drug is meant to help the parents not get sick.

"There are treatments for numerous other viruses to help prevent symptoms or progression, so it's a similar approach they're using," said Subramaniam.

If you're interested in participating, you can email clinicaltrials@tpmgpc.com or call (757) 707-3503.