5,000 volunteers sought for COVID-19 vaccine trials in Chicago: Here’s how to sign up

Northwestern Medicine said it needs volunteers for Phase 3 trials of a drug by AstraZeneca found to boost antibodies, as well as for future studies.

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A phlebotomist takes a swab sample for a coronavirus test earlier this month in the parking lot of St. Rosalie Catholic Parish in Harwood Heights.

Northwestern University is recruiting volunteers for a vaccine study for COVID-19.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Northwestern Medicine is seeking up to 5,000 people to take part in upcoming vaccine studies to prevent COVID-19 infection.

The medical center said Monday it is signing up those at high-risk for exposure to the coronavirus for a newly launched Prevention Trials Registry.

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“We want to recruit participants in the Chicago area who are at risk for exposure to COVID-19 and who are potentially interested in participating in different studies for prevention of the infection,” Dr. Karen Krueger, a Northwestern Medicine physician and instructor in infectious diseases at Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a written statement.

The first study is expected to start next month. The Phase 3 trial will test the effectiveness of a vaccine by AstraZeneca that was found safe and boosted antibody responses in Phase 1 and 2 trials, the statement said. The drug will be tested at Northwestern’s Streeterville campus and at Lake Forest and Central DuPage hospitals.

The registry is seeking adults who work in jobs that put them at higher risk for exposure, including in health care facilities, grocery stores, retail, public transportation or factories. Those who work in nursing homes or other “congregated living facilities” are also being sought.

Northwestern also wants those “disproportionately affected by COVID-19” — such as people with health conditions, seniors, African Americans, Latinos or Native Americans — to sign up.

“We are casting a really wide net so we can make sure we have enough people identified and ready to go for upcoming studies,” Krueger said.

For more information, contact nuvaccinestudy@northwestern.edu or call (312) 694-0414. Or go to COVID Prevention Trials Registry website.

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