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KU School of Medicine looking for participants in clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 4:59 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - KU School of Medicine-Wichita is looking for participants in a clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Oxford University and purchased by AstraZeneca. To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old.

The trial starts in late August in Wichita. KU School of Medicine-Wichita Center for Clinical Research Director Dr. Tiffany Schwasinger-Schmidt, one of the co-investigators of the trial, said they’re looking to test about 1,500 people in Kansas and Missouri.

“With this vaccine, our hope is that we can not only slow down the spread but potentially stop it,” Dr. Schwasinger-Schmidt said.

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 has been the main focus of doctors across the U.S. and beyond. But now, doctors at KU School of Medicine-Wichita hope to see this become a reality.

“Wichita and Kansas specifically have seen the effects from the COVID-19 virus,” Dr. Schwasinger-Schmidt said. “And we know that one of the best ways to stop the spread of this virus, as well as the devastating effects, is really going to be through prevention.”

She said the local effort is part of a nationwide clinical trial, which is going to be a randomized controlled trial. This means some people will get the vaccine and others will get a placebo.

“We’re targeting high-risk individuals because we want to know that this is effective, and we also want to make sure that it’s safe,” Dr. Schwasinger-Schmidt said.

Safety, she said, is the main concern.

“It’s very encouraging when they did the first initial clinical trial with 1,000 volunteers and we didn’t see any serious adverse events.”

The upcoming vaccine trial will be implemented over the next two years, but doctors hope good signs from the vaccine will allow them to slow the spread in the nearer future.

“Our hope is, and based on the early data that we have, we do believe that this can be an effective vaccine,” Dr. Schwasinger-Schmidt said. ‘And we think, like any vaccine for any virus that we’ve seen, this is really going to be the key.”

To be considered for the clinical trial and receive the vaccine, you can register at the Coronavirus Prevention Network website or call 316-293-1833.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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