Pharmacists Urged to Help Find Trial Participants for COVID-19 Prevention

Effective vaccines or other preventive measures against COVID-19 can’t be developed and approved without adequate clinical trial participation. That’s why the federal COVID-19 Prevention Network is asking pharmacists to help promote the trials and get a more diverse group of volunteer participants. Here is more information.

BETHESDA, MD – Pharmacists are being asked to help inform Americans of how they can participate in clinical trials to develop products, such as vaccines, to prevent COVID-19.

A page on the American Pharmacists Association website offer posters and other promotional materials from the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN), which was formed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to respond to the global pandemic. Posters and flyers in English and other languages are available to help recruit participants.

The group emphasizes that the development and release of effective vaccines against COVID-19 is dependent upon recruiting sufficient numbers of individuals to participate in the vaccine clinical trials. That is especially the case with participants from targeted demographics.

That’s why the network is seeking the assistance of pharmacists and pharmacy personnel to inform the public of the opportunity to participate in the clinical trials.

Any adults interested in volunteering must complete a short online survey that includes some personal questions and entry into a registry for trials on vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapies. The website handles registration for the four large vaccine studies ongoing this summer and fall, as well as others that follow.

Trials are being conducted at more than 100 sites in the United States – and eventually abroad – and those included in the trial will be directed to the study site closest to them. The questions on the survey seek to determine factors such as how likely someone is to become infected and ill with COVID-19 and gathers information about race, employment and daily exposure to others.

The need to include Americans at higher risk of infection has led to recruitment efforts at churches and other organizations in hard-hit communities, and also in workplaces such as factories and meatpacking plants.

One goal is to have 40% of the participants be 65 or older and/or to have underlying conditions, such as hypertension, lung disease, diabetes and morbid obesity.

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