UT Health San Antonio, University Health recruit in San Antonio for Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trial

500 volunteers will part of the two-year study

In this photo released by Nucleus Network/ABC, clinical trial participants are given a coronavirus vaccine in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, with hopes of releasing a proven vaccine this year. Novavax injected 131 volunteers in the first phase of the trial testing the safety of the vaccine and looking for signs of its effectiveness. (Patrick Rocca/Nucleus Network/ABC via AP) (Patrick Rocca, Nucleus Network/ABC)

SAN ANTONIO – UT Health San Antonio and University Health are looking to recruit 500 volunteers to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial that will start this month.

The study, sponsored by Novavax, is a Phase 3 randomized control trial that will enroll about 30,000 volunteers at more than 100 study sites in the U.S. and internationally.

UT Health officials said the vaccine called NVX-CoV2373, is a protein engineered from the genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

There were no serious adverse effects in participants during the two previous studies on the vaccine which found that it produced a high immunity response, researchers said.

The third phase of the trial is much larger and seeks to enroll diverse populations of adults who are at least 18 years old including people who may be at higher risk for COVID-19 because of their age, race, ethnicity, medical conditions, living situation or work environment, UT Health officials said.

“We are proud to offer this vaccine clinical trial to the people of San Antonio and surrounding counties,” said Dr. Barbara Taylor, principal investigator of the local study site. “Our community has made many sacrifices throughout this pandemic and worked hard on masking and social distancing. We are excited to do our part and work towards a protective vaccine, which would provide another tool to help end the COVID-19 pandemic. We are particularly interested in seeing participation from people at higher risk for COVID-19, including older participants.”

Two-thirds of the participants will receive the vaccine, the other third will receive the placebo in two doses, 21 days apart. The groups will be chosen randomly.

All participants will be followed for two years to determine whether the vaccine reduced the risk of COVID-19.

Taylor, MD, MS, is an associate professor of infectious diseases at UT Health San Antonio and sees patients through University Health.

Taylor served as chair of the local COVID-19 Health Transition Team last spring and currently serves as co-chair of the COVID-19 Community Response Coalition, UT Health officials said.

For more information and to volunteer, visit UTHealthResearch.com or call 210-469-3206.

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