Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have begun participation in the Phase 3 clinical trial of an investigational COVID-19 vaccine co-developed by scientists at Moderna Inc. and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This clinical trial is a key step toward final approval of a vaccine to protect against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that has impacted millions of people around the world.
The vaccine trial is being conducted by researchers in UMSOM’s Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health (CVD). This is the first to be implemented under Operation Warp Speed, a multi-agency collaboration led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which aims to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of medical countermeasures for COVID-19.
The UMSOM site, expected to recruit several hundred participants, is part of the nationwide trial being conducted at 89 research sites that is expected to enroll 30,000 adults.
This virus disproportionately affects older adults, people with unstable medical conditions, and racial and ethnic minorities, making it critical that the vaccine works well in those who need it most. UMSOM researchers are targeting people who have increased risk of exposure because of location or circumstance, such as occupation, to see whether the vaccine protects them. As part of that plan, the UMSOM researchers will enroll and vaccinate participants in Maryland’s hardest hit communities, including Langley Park and Baltimore. Researchers have partnered with CASA in Hyattsville, MD, the largest member-based Hispanic and immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region. Vaccinations will take place on campus in Baltimore and in Hyattsville/Langley Park.
UMSOM is part of the NIAID-supported COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN), which aims to enroll thousands of volunteers in large-scale clinical trials, testing a variety of investigational vaccines and monoclonal antibodies intended to protect people from COVID-19.
To learn more, visit the University of Maryland School of Medicine website.
Source: University of Maryland School of Medicine