SLU enrolling people for new COVID vaccine trial


ST. LOUIS – St. Louis University Hospital is currently enrolling participants in a new COVID-19 vaccine trial.

“The Janssen trial is a Phase 3 efficacy trial for COVID-19 vaccine that will enroll thousands of individuals,” said Dr. Sharon Frey, professor of internal medicine at SLU.

Frey said they are looking for specific individuals.

“We are looking for people who are over 60 years of age,” she said. “Minority populations. Black, Latinx, or other minority populations.”

The commitment time is two years.

“They receive a single dose of vaccine and they will be followed for two years,” Frey said. “To try to decide whether people have been infected with COVID or not.”

Half of all participants will be given the vaccine and the other half will get the placebo. Those will be randomly selected and neither the participants nor administrators will know who gets the vaccine.

With Moderna and Pfizer currently awaiting FDA approval on vaccines showing 90 percent efficacy or greater, why even begin a new trial?

“People have to remember that with Pfizer and hopefully Moderna here soon, there’s not going to be enough of that vaccine to go around at all,” Frey said.

The doctor said it’s also important to have more than two vaccines that are essentially the same. So, continuing to have trials is crucial to ensure there are enough vaccines for everyone.

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