WRAL Investigates

Local doctors looking for coronavirus vaccine trial volunteers

The first U.S.-based coronavirus vaccine trials to enter the Food and Drug Administration's third and final phase are taking place right here.

Posted Updated

Cullen Browder
, WRAL anchor/reporter

The first U.S.-based coronavirus vaccine trials to enter the Food and Drug Administration’s third and final phase are taking place right here in the Triangle.

"Really exciting times," says Dr. Sam Fleishman, the Chief Medical Officer at Cape Fear Valley Health System. Fleishman is part of a consortium led by Raleigh-based Wake Research to test Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine. The group is now enrolling volunteers this week.

"The early data looks very promising for it be a potential very successful vaccine for Covid-19," Fleishman said when describing earlier research. This phase of the trials will take a couple of months, but Fleishman says Moderna has lofty goals, "Their hope is, you know, to get something to market by the end of the year which would be incredible."

Their work, with your help, would be a huge step to the world recovering from this crippling pandemic, according to Fleishman, "If we can get this done then we can get our lives back to somewhat of a normalcy."

Six Wake Research facilities are taking part in Phase three trials of Moderna’s vaccine. In Raleigh, they’re taking part at the Wake Research building off of Duraleigh Road. In Fayetteville, they’re taking place at the Carolina Institute for Clinical Research on Quiet Cove.

Researchers are looking for local volunteers to participate by being injected with genetically created antibodies modeled from patients who beat COVID-19. The ideal candidates are from the high-risk groups like the elderly, essential/front line workers and people from minority communities hit hard by the virus.

"This is unprecedented. None of us were trained even in health care to figure out how to really deal with a pandemic, so it’s all been ever life changing," describes Fleishman about the past couple of months in the health care profession.

If you’re in the Raleigh area are interested, just text COVID to 919-276-8331. In Fayetteville, text COVID to 910-463-5578 and you could join the historic team that helps find the vaccine. Patients will be compensated for their time and travel. Fleishman says the real pay back is finding something to stop the virus and fighting it right here in our own backyard "How excited we are in this part of the state, this our part of the country to be a part of this is really exciting."


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