First major U.S. COVID-19 vaccine trial seeks 30,000 volunteers

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The world’s largest, widespread coronavirus vaccine trial starts in the United States on Monday. 30,000 people are expected to take part with half receiving two doses of the trial vaccine and others receiving a placebo.

Lead by the Federal government’s National Institutes of Health and private-company Moderna, the trial will rely on volunteers signing up through the end of summer. KRQE News 13 asked a few people in Old Town Monday if they’d consider volunteering.

“I don’t see why not,” said Johnny Resendez of Albuquerque. “If it’s helping me not catch the virus, it shouldn’t hurt?“

Results for the vaccine trial could come before the end of the year. Participants are expected to get two doses of the trial vaccine with 28 days between each dose. According to a news release from the National Institutes of Health, developers mainly hopes to find out if the vaccine can prevent COVID-19 and how long that protection will last.

“I’d take part in it,” said Ralph DiPalma of Albuquerque. “But I wouldn’t depend on it.” The NIH-Moderna vaccine is just one of more than 160 vaccines reportedly in development. According to the New York Times’ “Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker,” the NIH-Moderna vaccine is the first U.S. based “phase three” trial. Third phase trials often involve large groups of test subjects.

“As a senior citizen, I’m hoping that they get a vaccine and I hope it succeeds, to save a few people from the virus,” said Lee Amador of Albuquerque. “I would take (a trial vaccine) and I’m 83.”

The third phase trial for the NIH-Moderna vaccine will also give researchers a better look at potential side effects. Johnny Resendez says side effects are one element on his mind when considering COVID vaccine trials. “I would have to like read up on the risks and stuff before I would just dive right into it,” he said.

A recent CBS News poll suggested that if a vaccine were available, 30% of respondents said they’d get it as soon as possible. Around 20% said they’d never get one.

Several more drug companies will likely be looking for test subjects in the coming months under the U.S.’ accelerated vaccine process. President Donald Trump’s administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” is hoping to have 300 million doses of vaccine by January.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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