Stanford COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Enters Phase Three

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New video shows the first injection as Stanford doctors start phase three of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine trial Friday.

“I do other clinical studies as well, but it’s nice to be helping out with something that will hopefully be available in the springtime,” said Dr. Phillip Grant, the trial’s principal investigator.

This phase three trial will be done at 180 sites around the world with 60,000 participants, 1,000 of them at Stanford. It’s a double-blind study, meaning some will get active vaccine while others will get a placebo. They’ll all be monitored.

“Hopefully it’ll prevent the total number of infections, as well as the severe number of infections,” Grant said.

The vaccine essentially uses a common cold virus to deliver coronavirus genetic material into the body with the goal of sparking an immune response.

“They wouldn’t be administering this to 60,000 people if there wasn’t a level of confidence in what they’re doing,” said Walter Sobba, the first participant in the Stanford trial.

Sobba is a Stanford graduate and aspiring physician.

“If there’s any way that me volunteering to participate in this can be of service to the rest of our community both locally and globally, I’m very happy to be involved in that,” he said.

There are now four vaccines in critical stage three human trials in the country.

Johnson and Johnson’s was briefly on hold after a participant got sick. Astrazeneca’s was also paused for the same reason, but both have since resumed.

In fact, this week researchers in the Astrazeneca trial with Oxford said their vaccine has shown to have a strong immune response in elderly people.

Moderna said by the end of this year, it expects to have approximately 20 million doses to ship in the U.S., though it’s still in stage three.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said more should be known in weeks.

“The projections that we have, that I think and I hope will be reasonably accurate, are that we will know sometime in December whether or not we have a safe and effective vaccine,” he said. “And practically speaking, when will we be able to deploy that vaccine.”

People in the Stanford trial will take a phone survey every week to see if they have symptoms. Grant said they still need more volunteers.

“Right now, we’re doing the young, healthy individuals and older healthy individuals,” he said. “And if you don’t fit into that category then we will call you when we have moved on to people with chronic conditions.”

Each will be monitored periodically over two years, but the data on if it works will come much sooner.

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