As scientists race to get a coronavirus vaccine available, there will be clinical trials held with volunteers in order to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine across various groups of people ranging in age, gender and ethnicity.
Dr. Athony Fauci recently told CNN that having a significant amount of people vaccinated was the best bet to prevent the virus from continuing to spread.
“If we get a widespread uptake of vaccine, we can put an end to the pandemic and we can create a veil of immunity that would prevent the infection coming back,” Fauci told CNN. “We’re trying to figure out does it actually work ... (it will) take several months to determine if in fact (the vaccine) does work.”
However, for those thinking about participating in the COVID-19 vaccine trails, there are some things to take into consideration.
Testing of vaccines is done in phases. HuffPost notes that in phase one, scientists establish if the vaccine has problematic side effects. Phase two determines how many people ought to be vaccinated and at what rate and phase three looks at how well a vaccine can prevent an infection as people move about in the world.
Before being selected to participate in a trial, volunteers are screened to ensure they are in good health.
If someone is determined to be well suited to participate, they may be given a dosage of the vaccine or a placebo. And while the vaccine may make participants feel under the weather for a bit, HuffPost notes that it will not cause people to contract the virus itself.
“The vaccines themselves cannot give you COVID-19 as they don’t actually contain any of the coronavirus itself. A vaccine is designed to turn on your immune system and go after the virus if you are exposed,” HuffPost notes.
Participants in trials are typically compensated for their time. Jim Kublin, an infectious disease researcher, told Huffpost that most of the time participants receive $50 per appointment, which can add up to anywhere from $500 to $1,200 over the course of a trial.
“We really would like people to register,” Kublin told the outlet. “We do need literally millions of people to volunteer now.”
Participants in vaccine trials must be at least 18 years old. Typically, the trails are not open to people who are immunocompromised or have a history of being allergic to vaccines. There are trials being conducted in Georgia.
You can apply to participate and find more information on the trials at covidstudies.org.
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Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com