COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial coming to Lake Charles

COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial coming to Lake Charles

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine is set to begin this month in Lake Charles.

Centex Studies is the clinical research company selected to administer the vaccine trial and they’re looking to recruit 1,800 volunteers. They’re receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine that has been used in other clinical trials in Monroe, Louisiana, and Houston, Texas.

Nurse practitioner Celeste Brown said participants must be 18 years or older and in healthy condition, at risk for COVID-19.

“[For example], they could be on the front lines as far as healthcare workers [or] teachers too,” Brown said.

Centex Studies needs volunteers who are at risk for COVID-19, but one of the main exclusion criteria for this particle vaccine trial is testing positive for the coronavirus, meaning they cannot have a history of COVID-19.

“The patients can not have a history of COVID, which would be determined by an antibody screening test or they can not have a current infection which would be determined by a nasal PCR swab,” Brown said.

Brown explained the process of the clinical trial once you’ve been selected.

“They would have [their] blood drawn [and] EKG’s performed [followed by] a full physical exam,” Brown said. “We would administer either the vaccination or the placebo and then they would be monitored afterward.”

About 30,000 people nationwide will be enrolled in this clinical trial. Brown said 66% of participants will receive the actual vaccine, while the remaining will receive a placebo.

“The exciting part about bringing it here in our community is the fact that Lake Charles is what is considered a hot spot for COVID,” Brown said. “So, we’re hoping with [the] success of the trial we can help prevent further spread of the actual spread here in our area.”

Brown said in other studies where this vaccine has been used, research shows participants have developed more antibodies in their blood to help fight off the virus.

Volunteers of all ages, race, ethnicity, and medical backgrounds are needed to participate. Those who wish to get involved can visit www.centexstudies.com or call (281) 918-0048 for more information.

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