A Texas-based medical research firm is looking to Fort Worth to find test subjects for a coronavirus vaccine.
The news comes as a study in the New England Journal of Medicine published results of the first phase of an experimental vaccine trial, which found "the vaccine-induced immune responses in all participants with no trial-limiting safety concerns," according to a news release.
The experimental vaccine was developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc. A 30,000-person study starting on July 27 will prove if the shots actually work.
As reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, 45 early volunteers developed the same levels of neutralizing antibodies in their bloodstream as those who had survived COVID-19. Those antibodies are key in fighting infections.
There have been side effects, however. More than half of the original participants reported flu-like reactions like headache, fatigue, chills, fever and pain at the injection site. And that early test only included younger adults, which is why more tests are needed for other parts of the population.
The Fort Worth office of Benchmark Research, which specializes in clinical research studies and has investigated vaccines for H1N1 and Ebola, was chosen for part of Phase III of the study.
Benchmark is looking for participants 18 years old and older, specifically frontline workers, people who have likely been exposed to coronavirus, people 65 years old and older and people who are high-risk with chronic health conditions.
According to the news release, ideal participants are nurses, doctors, construction workers, teachers, retail staff, delivery drivers and other essential workers. High-risk individuals include people who are obese or suffer from heart disease, diabetes and asthma.
Participants will be required to visit the Fort Worth facility a set number of times and will have to answer periodic phone calls about the study. The study will be conducted, according to guidelines set by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Insurance is not required to participate, and all participants will be paid, according to the news release. All travel will be reimbursed and all lab work will be complimentary.
“We know that the people of Fort Worth feel like the problem is bigger than themselves, and this is an ideal way to be a part of the solution," Benchmark CEO Mark Lacy said in the news release.
If you are interested in participating in the study, click here or call 1-888-902-9605 for more information.
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