San Antonio researchers seek 500-600 participants for COVID-19 vaccine trial

SAN ANTONIO – A COVID-19 vaccine trial is getting ready to begin in San Antonio, and starting Thursday, researchers will start screening possible participants.

The trial is taking place at Clinical Trials of Texas in the Medical Center area.

You must be 18 or older and not have had COVID-19 before to participate. Also, if those who want to join the trial have underlying conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, they must be managed.

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First responders and other front line workers at high risk of contracting COVID-19 are especially encouraged to apply.

“They will be tested when they come in to screen for the trial,” said Dr. Douglass Denham, chief medical director of Clinical Trials of Texas.

The vaccine study is set to begin on July 27.

“It’s a large 30,000 patient trial across the country and around the world,” Denham said.

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Participants will receive two rounds of injections. The second booster shot will be given about a month after the first.

Denham assures that those who participate can not become infected from the vaccine.

“The vaccine itself is not a live vaccine, vaccination-type of process,” Denham said.

He said some participants could experience common mild vaccine side effects.

“Pain at the injection site, maybe fevers, some redness of the skin around that area. Muscle aches and pains, fatigue. They don’t feel well for a couple of days. Generally, that goes away,” Denham said.

The intent is that the vaccine, which is being manufactured by the company Moderna, creates antibodies that will protect against the virus. If trials are successful, the vaccine still must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

At best, the entire process could take several months, but Denham says the vaccine could be available to the public as early as the end of this year or the beginning of 2021.

So far, more than 2500 people volunteered to participate, but CTT officials said they can still accommodate more volunteers.

If you’d like more information on how to become a participant, call 210-949-0122, extension 290, or visit

Chosen participants will receive a stipend for travel expenses, though the exact amount hasn’t been determined yet.