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Astrazeneca vaccine trial underway at IU School of Medicine

Just over 200 participants have started the trial
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Posted at 5:57 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 18:05:10-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The IU School of Medicine is one of 80 sites in the country participating in the trial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Thousands of Hoosiers applied to participate but not all will be qualified and selected.

“Really one of our focuses so far has been making sure we are bringing in a diverse population of individuals that represents our state,” said Dr. Cynthia Brown, lead researcher for AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Study at IU School of Medicine. “As we know, these groups are at higher risk for more severe complications from COVID-19.”

Right now participants are 9% black, 16% Hispanic and 15% individuals over the age of 65. Participants will receive either the vaccine or the placebo. Dr. Brown says they will be randomized in a two to one fashion. This means for every one individual who gets the placebo, two will get the vaccine.

As of now, doctors do not have any results of the study. They are currently working to enroll more participants in order to complete the trial.

Dr. Ashley Meagher, a surgeon at IU Methodist, says she decided to sign up to participate in the trial after seeing so many COVID-19 patients struggle, "The virus is surging right now, we're seeing more and more positive patients in the hospital and anything that we could do to try and minimize that would be really great," she said.

79-year-old Joe Morris signed up in hopes of helping get everything back to normal, "I think this is the very thing that a person of my age can do to help change things and get my children back to work, my grandchildren back to school and be able to enjoy the things I've always taken for granted."

“We have to get to an overall enrollment in the United States of 30 to 40 thousand,” said Dr. Brown. The goal is to get between one thousand and 15 hundred participants for the IU trial. Brown says only after that will they be able to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Additionally, there are sites in South America in the AstraZeneca trial, as well as Oxford University in the United Kingdom. The hope is that between all of these high enrolling sites there will be some information that comes out of the study.

Doctors expect to learn if the study is effective by the end of the year.

Those interested in participating in the study can sign up to receive updates by joining the All IN for Health volunteer registry.