KELLER, Texas - There is progress toward a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Pfizer Phase 3 trial is now approved to include teenagers 16 and older. The trial has surpassed the 30,000 participants originally needed and now expanding to 44,000.
As the trial continues, it will expand to include more groups of people to see how effective the vaccine is.
The trial is now looking for teenage participants 16 and older and hopes to open it up to those 12 to 15 by next month and 12 and under as early as the end of this year.
Along with including teens, the Phase 3 clinical trial is also expanding to people with chronic, stable HIV or Hepatitis B or C infections.
Participants get two injections, either the trial vaccine or a placebo, 21 days apart. They then monitor their symptoms through an electronic diary and come in for a checkup every six months for two years to see how long their immune response lasts.
“Which down the line gives us data,” said Mercedes Livingston with Ventavia Research Group. “Will this vaccine need to be given yearly like we do the flu vaccine? Or is it more like the pneumonia vaccine where patients get it every five years?”
The Keller office where Dr. Greg Fuller works is one of the test sites. He says patients who are given the vaccine are exposed to a protein specific to COVID-19.
“So all it’s doing is producing this protein. There’s no live virus or killed virus. It cannot cause an infection to occur,” Dr. Fuller explained. “So it’s just producing these antigen proteins so the body can produce the antibodies against that protein.”
So far, Dr. Fuller’s office has had more than 300 participants.
One of the participants is Wade Strzinek, who already had his first injection and is returned to get his second.
“Being able to participate in a clinical trial is just one more thing I can do to contribute to hopefully find a treatment, a vaccine,” Strzinek said.
So far, Strzinek says he’s felt no symptoms of COVID-19 or any side effects.
“There’s so much that’s controlled. Tere’s so much they already knew about the vaccine before it reached this point of research,” he said. “The doctor and the clinical research staff are always available if anything happens.”
Ventavia Research Group is currently conducting COVID-19 vaccine trials in Houston, Fort Worth and Keller.
“We’ve been running clinical trials for 20 years, and this study is no different than any other studies we’ve run,” said Olivia Ray with the research group. “Nothing’s been rushed. We’re looking at the data just the same. We’re collecting the data just the same.”
The research group is looking for teen participants 16 and up over the next two weeks as the study continues to move forward and expand to include other age groups.
“The more volunteers we have, the faster we can collect this data and get it to market and hopefully get back to normal,” Ray said.
Participants are compensated for their time.
You can also call their offices:
- Fort Worth Office: 817-348-0228
- Keller Office: 682-774-8013