This single website aims to handle all of the registrations for the four large vaccine studies that are expected to start this summer and fall.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which announced the website launch, also appointed the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle as the coordinating center for vaccine clinical trials run by the Coronavirus Prevention Network.
“Having a safe and effective medical countermeasure to prevent COVID-19 would enable us to not only save lives but also help end the global pandemic,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a news release.
“Centralizing our clinical research efforts into a single trials network will expand the resources and expertise needed to efficiently identify safe and effective vaccines and other prevention strategies against COVID-19.”
On the website, any individual interested in joining a vaccine study can fill out a quick questionnaire, and the information will be automatically shared with a study site that’s located the closest. There will be more than a hundred sites in the U.S. and abroad.
Some of the questions will try to assess how likely you will become infected with the coronavirus—they include your race, occupation and how many people you come into contact with on a daily basis.
Knowing that people of color have been hit the hardest, the researchers said they’ll look to recruit volunteers at churches and other organizations in those communities, in addition to factories and meatpacking plants where workers are at high risk.
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center said that it is expecting to enroll between 10,000 and 30,000 volunteers per vaccine trial.
“We need multiple successful vaccines to protect the entire global population from COVID-19 and stop the spread of a virus that has killed so many people, infected many more and disrupted our way of life,” Dr. Larry Corey, virologist and past president and director of Fred Hutchinson, said in a news release.
“I’m optimistic that the extraordinary cooperation of industry, government and the scientific community, working in concert with the citizenry of our country, as well as our international partners, will allow us to conduct these trials with the highest standards of safety and scientific accuracy.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.