Lifespan looking for Rhode Islanders to participate in Novavax vaccine trial

If you're eager to get vaccinated and help doctors with their research in the fight against Covid-19, you may be able to volunteer in a trial testing a new vaccine.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – If you’re eager to get vaccinated and help doctors with their research in the fight against Covid-19, you may be able to volunteer in a trial testing a new vaccine.

Lifespan is participating in a phase three vaccine trial for the Novavax vaccine.

Just like Pfizer’s vaccine, it is two shots, three weeks apart. So far, nine people have gotten either the placebo, or vaccine.

“Lifespan will be one of a few sites around the country that will be helping test in phase three, another new vaccine in this dreadful pandemic,” said Lifespan President and CEO Dr. Tim Babineau during the announcement Thursday.

According to Novavax, it chose sites for phase three trials, which will include thousands of people, where Covid-19 transmission rates are currently high, so there’s a better chance of testing how effective it is.

Despite the daily positivity rate going down recently, Rhode island still has some of the highest case numbers in the country.

“We also hope to get results from this study as soon as possible,” said Director of Clinical Trials at the Lifespan Immunology Center Dr. Karen Tashima. “So by enrolling people quickly and having the full enrollment, and we also know that there’s so much Covid in the community, there will be enough cases nationwide and in Mexico to really give us an answer we anticipate in the next few months.”

If you’re interested in taking part in the trial you must be over 18. They’re looking for a diverse population, with priority given to communities that have been hardest hit but the virus.

Two thirds of the participants will get the vaccine, and one third will get the placebo.

“We do counsel people who are above the age of 75 that if they think they’re going to get a vaccine in the near future, that they don’t need to participate,” said Dr. Tashima. “But if they’re not really sure when, is it going to be March, April? Then please, if you’re interested, come on board.”

Dr. Tashima also said that if you do participate, and then you become eligible to be vaccinated as part of the state’s vaccination phases, they will be able to tell you whether you got the Novavax vaccine, or the placebo.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island