Upstate Medical University seeking 12 to 15-year-old participants for COVID-19 vaccine trial

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Upstate Medical University is seeking participants from the age of 12 to 15 for a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine trial.

Upstate has been conducting the Pfizer/BioNTech trial since late July for those aged 18 to 85. There have been more than 300 individuals enrolled in the trial.

The move to the lower age group is to ensure that an effective vaccine for children is available to help prevent them from getting sick and spreading the virus.

Siblings of participants who are 16 or 17 years old can also participate in this phase of the trial.

Asymptomatic and minimally symptomatic children represent an important reservoir for transmission of several respiratory viruses. A safe and effective vaccine is needed for all ages, including children since those who become infected can easily transmit the virus to others. Those with less serious forms of the infection are still contagious, and since many feel fine, might be more likely to be out and about.

Joseph Domachowske — Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology and Immunology at Upstate Medical University and Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital

The efficacy study is a randomized, placebo-controlled, and observer-blind study. This means that those who participate will either receive a placebo or the actual vaccine.

The majority of the study team will have no knowledge of who received the placebo and who received the vaccine.

To be eligible for the study, participants must be in good health and be able to make a two-year commitment to the study. Volunteers will be required to provide blood samples for up to two years after receiving either the vaccine or the placebo.

Individuals might need to be seen up to 10 times during the two-year study period. The two-year frame is put in place in order to assess the safety and long-term immune response.

Individuals will not have to pay for anything while participating in the study.

Those who have previously tested positive for the virus are not eligible to participate.

During the first two study visits, participants will receive either the vaccine or placebo injection. Nasal swabs will be done to test for COVID-19. During the other study visits that follow, blood samples will be taken.

For seven days after receiving either the placebo or the vaccine, participants will be required to complete a daily e-diary, recording any specific reactions.

Study visits will take place in the Clinical Research Unit of the Institute for Human Performance at Upstate.

Those who are interested in participating and meet the requirements should contact 315-464-9869 or email trials@upstate.edu.

The study is being conducted by Upstate’s Institute for Global Health and Translational Science.


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