Kaiser Permanente is recruiting at least 100 Oregonians to attend one of the state’s first trials for coronavirus vaccines.
Trials could begin immediately next week for volunteers who must receive health care through the Kaiser network to participate.
Britta Torgrimson-Ojerio, a nursing researcher at the Kaiser Permanent Center for Health Research, said volunteers are eager to enroll.
“We already have a tremendous response from our membership in the Kaiser,”; she said, “which I think is a tribute to how much people believe in helping to find a vaccine that will help our community get out of social unrest.” and economic that we ‘get into this pandemic.’
The center is one of three Kaiser countries across the country engaged in vaccine trials, which was developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. The companies, under a $ 2 billion contract with the Trump administration, are part of what the White House calls Operation Warp Speed, an effort to dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to develop a working and distributing coronavirus vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine is one of eight in the world that have entered phase three trials – the final phase before a drug can be administered to the public. Another trial for a vaccine developed by the company Moderna is taking place in Medford.
Oregonians attending the Kaiser trial will be part of a larger sample of 1,400 participants in Oregon and California, and 30,000 participants worldwide. People with serious medical conditions, such as cancer, will be examined.
Participants will sign a waiver of responsibility, Torgrimson-Ojerio said, but they are free to wrap up their trial at any point.
“It’s really important for any research that has the potential risk associated with it to work closely with participants and explain to them the potential harm and benefit,” she said.
Selected Oregonians will participate in what is called a double trial. Half will get the vaccine and half will get a sedative. They will not know what they are getting.
Participants will register and report back to the Kaiser for any side effects, which, like the flu shot, may include coronavirus symptoms. They will also receive a “boost” vaccine weeks after the first injection.
Kaiser will collect data for two months, then report it to Pfizer.
The researchers will analyze the effectiveness by determining whether coronavirus infections are more prevalent among people who received the vaccine or placebo, Torgrimson-Ojerio said. Healthcare professionals should also be sure that the side effects from the vaccine are manageable.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will ultimately decide if the vaccine is ready for the market.
Vaccines usually take years to complete before they are cleared for medical use. The rapid pace of coronavirus trials has sparked concern among scientists who fear rising political pressure could lead to difficult results.
The United States has registered more than 5.2 million coronavirus infections and 166,900 have died, according to a New York Times database.
“I really believe we do not want to accelerate through this process because the best way to get through this difficult time in this pandemic is to get a vaccine that works and works for a diverse community and population of people,” he said. Torgrimson-Ojerio.
– Bryce Dole; email@example.com; 541-660-9844; @DoleBryce