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AdventHealth Seeks Central Florida Volunteers For COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

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SAM MOQADAM

Elderly people and people from minority communities who have been hardest hit by COVID-19 are encouraged to apply to be part of the study.

AdventHealth Research Institute Orlando is looking for residents to participate in a coronavirus vaccine clinical trial.

Steven Smith, the institute's chief science officer, says the vaccine being tested through the ENSEMBLE trial would be a one-shot vaccine.

He says the vaccine uses the same technology that the Ebola and childhood respiratory syncytial virus vaccines already use.

“This vaccine will have the data to say yes it’s safe and effective first quarter and then probably full approval if everything goes right somewhere around June or so," he says.

Smith says the plan is to enroll more than 60,000 people in the trial. Half will get the vaccine and half will get a placebo.

The research team will then follow up with participants about side effects over the next two years using a phone app.

Elderly people and people from minority communities who have been hardest hit by COVID-19 are encouraged to apply to be part of the study.

“We need to make sure that the vaccines are safe. We need to make sure they’re effective. And we need to make sure that they work for everyone,” Smith says.

Smith says people who are severely immunocompromised, pregnant and younger than 18 cannot enroll in the study.

AdventHealth is also working with the state to distribute Pfizer’s vaccine if the Food and Drug Administration approves it, either at the end of this year or the beginning of 2021.

To learn more or to apply to be part of the ENSEMBLE trial, click here.