(WBNG) — Biotechnology companies are racing to find a vaccine that could end the pandemic. Some are already entering phase three of trials, a task that has never been done in such a short amount of time.
“Is that going to take a month, is that going to take six months, is that going to take a year, we have no idea,” said Meridian Clinical Research Vice President of Patient Recruitment Beau Garland.
Meridian Clinical Research has launched nine study locations across the United States. Two of those are located in New York, more specifically in Binghamton and Endwell.
“We’re well known in the vaccine community as far as a research center. New York is a hot spot for COVID, so they want to use areas in the country that have cases of COVID,” said Dr. Frank Eder, a medical director with Meridian.
Starting July 27, Meridian will begin those trials, and they are looking for local participants. Across the nation, they need to test 30,000 people. Locally, they are looking for about 500 to 1000 people.
However, before being tested in trials, you have to be eligible. You’ll have to meet at least one of the following criteria listed below:
Essential workers, such as healthcare workers, first responders, manufacturing/factory workers, transit workers, etc. (People who may be in close, regular contact with infected persons)People with underlying health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, asthma, etc. Healthy individuals age 18+ with no known history of COVID-19.People age 65+
Meridian says they will not be giving you a strain of the coronavirus, but rather an antigen that could give your body the ability to fight back if infected. You will not be infected with COVID-19 by receiving the vaccine.
“We’re giving you an antigen for your body to create antibodies to. If you’re ever exposed to the real antigen, the full virus, your body will have some way of knowing how to attack it,” said Eder.
If you qualify for the study, you will be paid for participating. The study will require you to make multiple visits over the course of two years.
“You’re going to meet with the doctor, you’re going to meet with the nurses, you’re going to meet with the medical coordinator, they’re going to ask you medical questions,” said Garland.
At the end of the study, researchers hope to have enough data to license a life-saving vaccine.
“This is really our chance to be actively involved in moving forward and putting an end to this virus, and getting us back to normal lives,” said Eder.
If you would like to submit your information to see if you may qualify, visit this website or call (912) 623-2240.