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Brooke Beery is Associate Editor of Optometry Times®.
Thousands of participants needed for research.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH), established a network of clinical trials in hopes of enrolling thousands of volunteers to participate in early COVID-19 vaccine testing.
The network website has set up a secure method of volunteering for local studies. Anyone over the age of 18 may participate. If chosen, participants will be subjected to injections or infusions containing the study product or a placebo. Most studies require traveling to the research site for 10 or more visits over a span of 1 to 2 years.
The COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network (COVPN) consists of 4 existing NIAID-funded clinical trials networks including:
• HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN)
• HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN)
Together, they create a functional unit of “Operation Warp Speed,” an initiative led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to organize the development and distribution of COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.
“Establishing a unified clinical trial network is a key element of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, which aims to deliver substantial quantities of a safe, effective vaccine by January 2021,” says Alex Azar, HHS Secretary, in a statement.
“Starting this summer, this new network will leverage existing infrastructure and engage communities to secure the thousands of volunteers needed for late-stage clinical trials of promising vaccines,” he says.
The network is projected to operate more than 100 clinical trial sites throughout the United States and the world.
Interested persons can learn more about the different stages of vaccine research and the new network’s COVID-19 vaccine and monoclonal antibody studies by visiting https://www.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org.