COVID-19 vaccine to be tested in Athens, Huntsville

COVID-19 vaccine to be tested in Athens, Huntsville
(Source: CNN)

ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - North Alabama may play a critical role in putting a stop to the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to our news partners at the News Courier, Athens and Huntsville been selected as two of 150 test sites for a potential vaccine.

Tonya Pryor is the director or research at North Alabama Research Center. She says the NARC and it’s sister site - The Medical Affiliated Research Center in Huntsville, have been chosen to conduct trials of a new drug from Pfizer that could serve as a COVID-19 vaccine.

This will be a Phase 3 trial, which means the centers will be looking for about 600 patients. 50% will receive the drug, 50% will receive a placebo.

Enrollment in the program could begin within the next month, according to Pryor. The screening process will take 3 to 4 months, and the study will take another two years. Patients will also receive free medical care related to the study, including COVID-19 testing, antibody testing, EKGs, blood and lab work, physical assessments and more. To participate, patients must meet certain criteria, including: no cancer in the last five years, no previous diagnosis of COVID-19, no autoimmune disorders or unmanaged pre-existing conditions and being an adult under the age of 85. Other restrictions may apply. Those who qualify will also be financially compensated. 

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