#PNN_Vaccination

Five Department of Defense facilities will participate in the Phase 3 trial of a COVID-19 vaccine, including Naval Medical Center in San Diego, the Pentagon announced Thursday.

The Pentagon is seeking volunteers among those who use the military’s health system to participate in the trial as part of the government’s “Operation Warp Speed” effort to deliver a safe and effective vaccine by January.

In addition to San Diego, Joint Base San Antonio Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas, Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia are participating in the trial.

AstraZeneca, the maker of the vaccine candidate, is looking to enroll up to 30,000 adults for the trial of the vaccine. Participants will be administered two doses of either the potential vaccine or saline control at random, four weeks apart, the pharmaceutical company says. Twice as many volunteers will be given the AZD1222 than the saline control.

The company is already undertaking late-stage clinical trials in Brazil, the United Kingdom, and South Africa, and has other trials scheduled in Japan and Russia. “These trials, together with the US Phase III clinical trial, will enroll up to 50,000 participants globally. Results from the late-stage trials are anticipated later this year, depending on the rate of infection within the clinical trial communities,” company officials said in a press release.

“Now that vaccines have passed the first phases of testing for safety, dosing and response, we are ready to move into the next phase where volunteers are needed to join large clinical studies. We are excited to have several sites identified to support the next steps in the vaccine development process,” said Tom McCaffery, assistant defense secretary for health affairs, in a press release. 

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