Lifespan looking for Rhode Islanders to participate in clinical trial of third COVID-19 vaccine


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The state’s top hospital group is now taking part in a clinical trial for a third coronavirus vaccine.

Lifespan announced Thursday that it is searching for volunteers to take part in the trial, which is being run by Novavax.

Right now, the only two federally approved vaccines are being manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna. Novavax’s vaccine is just now entering the third phase of its trial.

“We began with screening some individuals on Saturday, we vaccinated nine people on Tuesday and Thursday we vaccinated another eight,” Dr. Karen Tashima, who’s overseeing trial in Rhode Island, said.

She said anyone 18 years and older can participate in the trial. The vaccine is administered in two doses, and participants are required to monitor themselves for any COVID symptoms throughout the process.

“We need to know if they have a sniffle, and if the sniffle goes past day two, then they start doing some nasal swabs on themselves and we bring them in for a visit,” Tashima said.

Approximately 30,000 people are expected to participate in the trial, according to Lifespan.

Michael Henderson, Lifespan’s vice president of research, said they’re looking for diversity in those who sign up.

“We’re going to make sure that we’re doing some really important work that’s both diverse and also impactful,” he said.

Tashima said two-thirds of participants will receive the Novavax vaccine, while the other third will receive a placebo. Lifespan is one of 110 North American locations participating in the study.

To participate in the study, click here.

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