Researchers across the globe are testing vaccines to see if they can prevent COVID-19, and now people from Indiana can get involved. IU School of Medicine was picked to be a study site for the vaccine known as AZD1222.

People who live in any part of Indiana are invited to participate, especially if they work in essential jobs, like at schools, stores, health care systems or warehouses. The research team will pick more than 1,000 volunteers from all kinds of backgrounds, making sure the study reflects the population of Indianapolis.

“Nearly 40 percent of the city’s population is made up of Black, Hispanic or Asian people,” said Cynthia Brown, MD, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the IU School of Medicine who is leading the study. “We know how important it is to include people from as many backgrounds as possible as we work to determine the best preventative treatment for this terrible pandemic.”

Other requirements for the study include:

  • 18 years or older
  • No previous positive COVID-19 diagnosis
  • Travel to IU Health University Hospital in Indianapolis for first visit, as well as follow-up visits in the next two years

The Indianapolis location is the only site in the state testing the AZD1222 vaccine. Two-thirds of people who participate will get the vaccine and one-third will get a saline placebo (salt and water).

AZD1222 was developed by researchers in Europe who partnered with AstraZeneca, a biopharmaceutical company. Their early results show that the vaccine is safe and helps a person’s body create T cells and antibodies within a month. T cells and antibodies can protect people from COVID-19 by attacking the virus cells or making sure you don’t get the disease in the first place.

This study is in the third phase of the clinical trial process, which is the last step before the potential vaccine can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In this phase, researchers plan to enroll a total of 30,000 people from across the country, including the volunteers from Indiana.

People who are interested in learning more can visit the study page for more information. And as always, be sure your volunteer profile is updated by visiting the All IN for Health volunteer registry.