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Central Virginians needed for COVID-19 vaccine trial

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Posted at 10:17 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 22:17:48-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- As clinical trials take place around the world to find a promising treatment for COVID-19, researchers in Richmond are joining in on the effort.

Clinical Research Partners in Henrico County is looking for 3,000 central Virginia residents to participate in a clinical trial with biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The company is conducting the study with Oxford University.

The trial, now in its third phase, will involve 30,000 participants across the globe.

"This is our chance to stop the virus," said Robert Call, M.D., principal investigator with Clinical Research Partners.

Call says they are looking for a diverse group of participants, including front line workers and people from minority populations. Participants must be 18 years old, healthy or have stable health conditions. They are encouraging high-risk patients to take part in the study.

"We want to have a cross-section of America, so we're really looking for diversity," Call says. "If you have stable diabetes, heart disease, or even COPD, you will be a good fit for the trial."

The vaccine will be given in two parts and will involve monitoring by health care officials for two years. Even if participants receive a placebo, they will be among the first eligible for the true vaccine once it's in production.

"It's very safe," Call says. "In the work that's been done in phase one and two studies prior to this, they haven't had any serious or adverse effects."

In a press conference earlier Wednesday, Richmond Health Director Danny Avula talked about the importance of diversity in clinical trials.

"I think it's really important for us in the healthcare sector to continue to communicate the importance of (studies) and educate what testing looks like. What the safety protocols have been and really encourage vaccine trials because we're going to need as many people to get vaccinated as possible if we want to accelerate our journey out of this Covid era," Avula says.

The enrollment period is over the next eight weeks. Participants will be given compensation up to $1000.

For more information, contact Clinical Research Partners at (804)477-3045.