Two vaccine studies seeking volunteers
Sometimes a cold can progress to something more dangerous. In people over 60, the common respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, starts out as a mild cold but can cause bronchitis, pneumonia and even chronic pulmonary obstruction disease (COPD). In fact, RSV is one of the leading causes of hospitalizations for older adults.
Now, a drug company is launching a worldwide study of 10,000 people over age 65 to see how well its RSV vaccine prevents infection. The phase-three “Vanir” study is under way at 60 locations throughout the United States.
In the Washington area, the Clinical Alliance for Research and Education — Infectious Diseases (Care-ID), located in Annandale, Virginia, is enrolling participants this fall.
“We’re excited to be involved in this study,” said Dr. Donald Poretz, principal investigator and an infectious disease physician. Poretz is one of nine board-certified physicians at Care-ID.
The trial’s recombinant MVA-BN® RSV vaccine is similar to the one that children receive. Its safety has been established in previous clinical trials.
One in-person visit
Once enrolled, you will be randomly selected to receive the vaccine or a placebo; neither you nor the researcher will know which one until after the study ends.
The study requires just one in-person visit to Care ID’s offices in Annandale. After a 90-minute visit, participants will get help downloading an app to track their symptoms on a smartphone or tablet (one will be provided if necessary).
Common side effects may include a sore arm or mild fatigue. After that, researchers will follow up by phone monthly for about a year to see if participants avoided catching RSV.
New flu vaccine study
Care ID is also conducting a study of a new flu vaccine developed by Pfizer. The new vaccine is similar to the mRNA vaccines Pfizer and Moderna developed for COVID-19.
“The same technique has been developed in the prevention of influenza. It may have a lot of merit to it because certain people could not tolerate the flu shot….People who are allergic to eggs can’t take it.
“This new Pfizer flu vaccine, delivered via messenger RNA, could be very effective,” Poretz said. “The flu vaccines the past couple of years have not been very great,” Poretz said. “People continued to get flu in spite of the vaccine.”
The study, open to volunteers over 18, requires three visits to Care ID. At the first appointment, participants will get blood drawn and receive a flu shot (the Pfizer or the standard Fluzone shot). Then they’ll follow up in person in four weeks and again in six months.
As with the RSV study, participants will need to keep track of any side effects or symptoms via an app, which researchers can help install.
For both studies, parking is free and participants will be compensated for their time. Care ID is located at 3289 Woodburn Rd., Suite 250, in Annandale, VA.
To enroll in the RSV vaccine trial or the Pfizer flu vaccine trial, or to learn more about either one, email email@example.com or call (703) 560-4821.