Thousands of Kaiser Permanente patients may soon be getting invitations to participate in a new study in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The clinical trial is being conducted in California and Oregon. They're testing a brand new vaccine developed by Pfizer and a German company called BioNTech SE, which uses a new way of activating the body's immune responses.
"What's called nucleic acid technology, MRNA, and that includes DNA vaccines as well which you may have also heard about,” said Kaiser Permanente Doctor Nicola Klein. “This is a new technology for vaccines, there are no currently licensed vaccines that are developed using this technology."
Moderna has already started it's clinical trials with similar DNA technology.
The study by Kaiser started enrolling participants this week in Santa Clara.
Those who are interested can go to COVIDvaccinestudy.com where they can answer a few questions to see if they’re eligible.
Kaiser Permanente is looking for 1,400 participants in both states.
"You want to have large phase three studies in order to assess carefully for safety,” said Klein.
In the Bay Area, they're looking for a broad pool of participants including Latinos, African Americans, and others in populations that have been hit hard by the virus.
People who enroll will be given the vaccine and monitored for two years.
If this vaccine proves to be effective against coronavirus, it could so be set for wider distribution pretty quickly.
"By the end of this year or early next year,” said Dr. William Towner from Kaiser Permanente.