Mendoza, URMC encourage volunteering for next phase of COVID-19 vaccine study

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza and researches with the University of Rochester Medical Center are encouraging members of the community to volunteer in phase three of the COVID-19 vaccine study.

In May, URMC and Rochester Regional Health announced their collaboration in a clinical trial that will recruit 90 local participants.

URMC said they are looking for new volunteers for phase three of the study — which they anticipate will begin in August.

“For phase three trials, we are going to be looking for many more volunteers were expanding the numbers and types of people with stable medical conditions but also we want people with diverse backgrounds, ethnicities and living circumstances,” Professor, URMC Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Dr. Ann Falsey said.

Phase one and two of the trials are to establish the safety of the vaccine and work out the appropriate dose needed with minimal side effects.

Phase three represents the final stage of research prior to regulatory approval, manufacturing, and mass distribution.

“In order for it to make it to phase three, it’s really gone through rigorous study in phase one and two,” Assistant Professor, URMC Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Dr. Angela Branche said. “In those earlier trials we do a lot of monitoring in our subjects. It’s pretty intense.”

The doctors said those interested must be 18 years old or older, but there is no age limit to participate as long as volunteer is in good standing health.

The doctors said they are looking for at least 1000 people to participate, including those who are high risk and come in contact with many members of the community, like teachers, bus drivers and other essential workers.

“I still long for the day for a vaccine but I think it’s not realistic to expect that the vaccine will be in place this fall,” Mendoza said.

“We have to figure out now what can we do to stack the odds in our favor to reopen everything as safely as possible and I think the schools are a great example. We do not want to keep them closed any longer than we have to.”

Individuals interested in volunteering for the upcoming vaccine study can visit: www.covidresearch.urmc.edu

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