Children’s Joins COVID Vaccine Trials

 Children’s Joins COVID Vaccine Trials

The local hospital is one of four nationally that’s been selected to participate in the important trialDavid Holthaus Cincinnati Children’s is one of four sites in the U.S. participating in a clinical trial for a possible vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The trial is part of a vaccine development program by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, a pharmaceutical company based in Germany.

The trial began in Germany where the dosing of the first participants was completed last week, Children’s says.

The study arm at Cincinnati Children’s is led by Dr. Robert Frenck, director of the NIH-funded Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit and Vaccine Research Center there. The program is one of nine such NIH units in the U.S. The program is testing vaccines for other global health issues, including Ebola and influenza.

The other three testing sites in the U.S. are the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Rochester Medical Center/Rochester Regional Health.

Cincinnati Children’s will enroll up to 90 participants in the first stage of the study, it says. Recruitment and screening are now under way and Children’s expects the first administrations of the potential vaccine to begin in the next two weeks.

The first subjects immunized in Stage 1 of the study will be healthy adults 18-55 years of age.

The prospective vaccine works by having our body make a piece of the virus called the spike protein, Frenck says. The body then makes antibodies to the spike protein designed to protect people against COVID-19 should they be exposed to the virus.

Frenck says study participants will not be given the whole virus, making it impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine. To be added to the interest list, follow this link or call 513-636-7699 or email gambleprogram@cchmc.org.