Central Florida labs still looking for COVID-19 vaccine trial participants

ORLANDO, Fla. — Two COVID-19 vaccines have been granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, and two more are expected to be ready in a matter of months.

A Central Florida lab is now looking for participants in more clinical trials that could help make the vaccine available to more people even more quickly.

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As Dr. Chris Galloway of Headlands Research in Orlando explains, there are a number of reasons to continue the trials, even with two other vaccines already in use.

“The more people that enroll, the quicker we can get the vaccine to market.

Dr. Galloway adds, it’s not enough to have just two vaccine manufacturers, so the clinical trials will continue for others.

“There’s a couple that are just starting up, and that all want big numbers,” Dr. Galloway says.

Even for Pfizer and Moderna- which have both already received emergency use authorization- research continues.

“We know that their symptoms will be less, so that’s a great step,” Galloway adds. “We are still waiting to learn some more.”

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For example, they’re still studying how long that vaccine might last, or whether a person can still spread the virus if they get it.

For those interested, the trial process at Headlands Research starts with a doctor visit where potential participants explain their medical history. Then each person finds a trial that’s the best fit for that individual.

“We want people to come for the right reasons,” Dr. Galloway says. “That they are looking to help participate, that it’s their choice and there’s not other motivations.”

Next, participants will undergo a blood test, and nasal swab to make sure they don’t already have the virus.

If they test negative, they move on to the injection phase.

“We do the injection and just kind of watch them,” Dr. Galloway says.

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Meaning they monitor the participant for any adverse reactions, then they’re sent home to monitor themselves, all the while, keeping the Headlands Research team informed of any changes.

For more information on current Headlands Research studies, click here.