AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine study seeking minority participants
HENRICO Co., Va. (WWBT) - While a third COVID-19 vaccine is still in the works here in the United States, there is a way you could get that vaccine ahead of time through a clinical study.
Clinical Research Partners in Henrico is conducting the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trials in the metro area and desperately needs more people of color to get involved.
“African Americans are dying at a much higher rate than our counterparts,” said Dyan Wright, a participant in the study.
In November, the CDC released data showing the Black population was nearly three times more likely to die from COVID-19 complications than the white population.
Wright said early on she was skeptical about getting the vaccine but changed her mind shortly after the new year.
“As soon as I saw our Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris take it, I said you know, I’m going to go ahead and take it,” she said. “If it prevents one death, prevents 10,000 deaths, I’m all for it.”
However, as an African American woman, Wright understands why some people just like her may be hesitant after concerns in the past. It is why she decided to sign up for the study.
“I’m really advocating for African Americans to go ahead and take it because of the Tuskegee experiments,” Wright said.
Researchers with the study said since October they’ve had more than 1,700 participants but currently need more men and women like Wright.
“We can only enroll anybody (any race) 65 and older but only people of color if they’re under the age of 65,” said Dr. Robert Call.
Participants would receive either the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine or a placebo. Call said two out of three participants will receive the vaccine. The shot is given on day one and day 29 of participation.
“We measure the blood for antibodies after the vaccine,” Call said.
Wright received her shot on Friday.
“I haven’t had any side effects,” she added. “On Friday I did feel some warmth go up my arm and back down my arm, but that was about it.”
While the United Kingdom has already started using this vaccine, researchers said taking part in the two-year study will help provide long-term data during the ongoing fight against COVID.
“This is an opportunity to get a COVID vaccine and hopefully be protected against the COVID virus,” Call said.
Call said currently an interim depth analysis is being done on the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine in the United States.
“If everything looks good enough, they’ll be able to submit to the FDA, hopefully by the end of January,” he said.
However, Call added if the vaccine is released for emergency use in the March timeframe, researchers would “unblind” all the participants who received the placebo to allow them to receive the actual vaccine.
For more information on taking part in this study, click here.
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