Santa Clara-based Kaiser Permanente has a COVID-19 vaccine trial underway

Ann Rubin reports.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – This week, Kaiser Permanente began clinical trials of a potential vaccine for COVID-19. The hospital is looking for healthy volunteers with the Kaiser system to participate in the study. 

It’s a late-stage trial of a promising COVID-19 vaccine.

When Kaiser Permanente put out the call for volunteers to receive it, Dusta Eisenman answered.

“I am a big believer in vaccines. I am a big believer in the science behind vaccines. I’m a team player. I want to do my part to get going and get back to life as soon as possible,” said participant Dusta Eisenman.

Right now, Kaiser in Santa Clara is one of 4 locations for this Phase 3 Clinical trial.

The investigational vaccine was developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, and has done well in earlier testing.

“This has been an incredibly rapid process. Usually vaccine development takes eight to 10 years. So this is clearly much much faster than ever seen before,” said Dr. Nicola Klein, of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center.

Klein said manufacturers are having to make large commitments to their vaccines at the same time they’re testing them.

“In order to generate and get vaccines for this country and the world, and get them quickly, that’s what is going to need to happen right now. So it is unusual. But hopefully, the bet pays off. And I’m hoping for all the vaccines, that they all work,” said Klein.

To participate in this trial, you have to be a part of the Kaiser hospital system, healthy, and between the ages of 18 and 85. They are also looking for people who might be high risk, or essential workers, like Jeff Eisenman.

He said, “I’d like to see this study get some traction. I’d like to see it get some results. And hopefully, they’re good and they benefit a lot of people. So I want to do my part to get this study off the ground and get some results.”

Kaiser will start by enrolling 1400  participants at the four sites around California and Oregon. Eventually though, the goal is to get up to 30,000 participants at 120 sites worldwide.


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