Volunteers wanted for vaccine trials held in Tucson

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PHOENIX – A research center in east Tucson is one of the 87 clinics in the country chosen to participate in phase 3 of a COVID-19 vaccine trial, the Arizona Daily Star reported. The Quality of Life Medical and Research Center is actively recruiting Arizona volunteers to participate in the trial and national study, it said.

“I’m very honored that they selected us for this particular study,” Dr. John McGettigan, owner and founder of the center, told the newspaper. “It’s probably the most important research study that I’ll be involved in in my career.”

Results from phase 1 vaccine trials, which were positive, were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 14. The initial vaccine, mRNA-1273, “induced anti–SARS-CoV-2 immune responses in all participants, and no trial-limiting safety concerns were identified,” according to the summary. The vaccine was able to direct itself to a portion of the coronavirus that binds to other cells.

In phase 3 trials, volunteers will receive two doses of the vaccine 29 days apart. A control group will receive a placebo.

Researchers will study the groups for up to two years, including checks for novel coronavirus antibodies and monitoring any negative reactions to the vaccine.

McGettigan told the Star he thinks the vaccine will be deemed effective a lot sooner than most people think, and it has already been fast-tracked by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. His team has already started to receive inquiries from those who want to participate in the trial, including some of his own patients, the Star reported.

A major focus of the phase 3 trials will be to involve health care workers and those who are at risk in the early stages of the vaccine trials, which are underway. To participate, email [email protected].

As of Monday, July 27, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported a total of 163,827 cases of COVID-19 and 3,304 deaths in the state. It said 1,099,682 tests for COVID-19 have been completed in public and private labs in Arizona, and 12.7% of tests have come back positive for the virus that causes the disease.

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Sports Reporter, Phoenix

Zachary Spiecker, an Arizona native, works as a digital sports reporter.