Naval Medical Center San Diego is among five Defense Department hospitals participating in phase III of the national coronavirus vaccine trial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
The trial already includes UC San Diego.
Other military facilities participating in the trial include Brooke Army Medical and Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Centers in San Antonio, Walter Reed National Medical Center in Maryland and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia.
The Pentagon is seeking volunteers among those who use the military’s health system — including active duty service members — to participate in the trial, part of the government’s “Operation Warp Speed” effort to deliver a safe and effective vaccine by January.
UCSD also is participating in the nationwide trial and is looking to enroll 1,600 people in San Diego County, plus an additional 1,200 in Imperial County. The trial will include 30,000 people across 31 states.
The Pentagon is asking for those with an increased risk of COVID-19 infection — including essential workers and those living in densely populated areas — to volunteer. Military members and those who receive care from the Military Health System who’d like to volunteer can visit www.CoronavirusPreventionNetwork.org to complete a survey.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was designed by researchers at England’s Oxford University using a modified common cold virus that affects chimps. Results in a smaller, earlier trial of about 1,000 people showed the vaccine was effective in developing antibodies that prevented COVID-19 infection.
Another large COVID-19 vaccine trial also is underway in San Diego, involving a vaccine developed by Moderna, a Massachusetts-based biotech company.
© 2020 The San Diego Union-Tribune
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.