UCSD to participate in national COVID-19 clinical trial, looking for volunteers

Posted at 6:21 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 21:38:14-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Researchers at UC San Diego Health are now looking for volunteers to participate in a COVID-19 clinical trial, starting locally next week.

Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine clinical trials will take place in 36 states across the country.

“This is the second vaccine trial for the prevention of COVID-19, and like the first, it is a trial of 30,000 individuals nationally,” said Dr. Susan Little, a professor of Medicine and UCSD and the lead on this trial.

Little said UCSD researchers hope to enroll about 1,600 people in eight weeks to participate in the trial.

“Eighteen or older, in generally good health, but with underlying conditions that put them at greater risk for COVID-19,” she said. “Or people with increased risk of acquiring COVID-19 because of their professions or where they live.”

Little said a bus would act as a mobile vaccine clinic. The bus will stop in parking lots in communities that have been historically underrepresented in medical research or disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“We’re going to focus on communities most impacted, the South Bay, East County, underserved communities and communities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 those with the highest rate of infection in the community,” she said. “It’s a series of two vaccines, a month apart, people will be prescreened over the phone, and then they’ll be vaccinated on day one and day 29. Then they’ll be followed for two years thereafter.”

In Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials, Little said the vaccine proved to be safe.

“We know that it’s safe in the sense that it causes local tenderness, some mild fatigue headache. Side effects went away in about one week,” she said. “This will be placebo-controlled, so I won’t know, and the participants won’t know whether they got a vaccine or placebo.”

She said for every one person who gets the placebo, two people will get the vaccine.

If people develop COVID-19 symptoms during the trial, two other mobile wellness clinics will be available for treatment.

“Anybody who develops symptoms that are worrisome to COVID, we will come see them in our wellness vehicles and test them for COVID. The most important thing is to assess the sort of severity of their symptoms and determine whether they’ve developed COVID while on the study,” she said.

Little said the goal is that there might be enough data to see if this vaccine is effective in six to nine months.

“We have two ways out of this pandemic, treatment, and vaccines,” she said. “Our hope is through vaccine efforts like this, we won’t just find one vaccine that works, but we might find several.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can learn more by clicking here, or calling 619-742-0433.