UChicago Seeking 2,000 Volunteers for Clinical Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine


Video: “Chicago Tonight” interviews Dr. Kathleen Mullane, director of clinical trials for infectious diseases at UChicago Medicine.


The University of Chicago Medical Center is recruiting 2,000 volunteers to participate in a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Individuals must be 18 or older and live in Chicago. Researchers are seeking a diverse mix of participants, including a “significant representation from those that are over 60,” according to a UChicago press release announcing the trial.

“We are looking for individuals from all walks of life to participate in this study,” said Dr. Habibul Ahsan, trial leader for the UChicago study and director of the Institute for Precision and Population Health at UChicago Medicine, in a statement. “This study includes healthy adults, but also individuals with comorbidities, all genders, older adults. People of all races. We want to be sure that the community our hospital serves is well represented in this trial.”

In a Monday afternoon press call, Ahsan said researchers are aiming to have 60% of participants from minority communities.

The vaccine, developed by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, is a single dose vaccine that uses the same technology used to develop vaccine candidates for HIV, RSV and Zika.  

The phase 3 clinical trial will evaluate the efficacy and safety of a vaccine compared to a placebo in approximately 60,000 people. Neither the researchers nor participants will know who is getting the vaccine.

Volunteers can get more information and register to participate online.

While not everyone who registers will be selected to participate in this study, researchers say there will be other studies and encourage individuals to sign up for UChicago’s COVID-19 vaccine registry.

“People shouldn’t be worried if they’re not called for a certain vaccine trial because there are many that are going to follow,” said Dr. Kathleen Mullane, an infectious disease specialist at UChicago. “There’s plenty of room for anyone who wants to be involved in this.”

Contact Kristen Thometz: @kristenthometz  [email protected]

Note: This story was originally published Nov. 3, 2020. It has been updated with our “Chicago Tonight” interview with Dr. Kathleen Mullane.


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