Health Team

Novavax offers new COVID vaccine trial aimed at Black, Latino population in Raleigh

Posted January 5, 2021 5:42 p.m. EST
Updated January 7, 2021 11:56 a.m. EST

— Most people have heard of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials – but there’s another trial underway, and this one offers a 66% chance of getting the actual vaccine.

Doctors at Wake Research are looking for patients in Raleigh for the Novavax trial.

The company is encouraging members of specific populations to join the trial, such as the Black or Latino community, as well as people with pre-existing conditions, according to Dr. Matthew Hong of Wake Research.

Novavax is actively enrolling patients for their 2-dose trial. Doses are given three weeks apart, and because it's a two in one vaccine, patients have a much higher chance of getting the real vaccine.

Currently Hong has about 40 patients.

Hong said the Novavax has a unique product added to it.

"A product derived from tree bark that we know boosts immune response anywhere from 3 to 10 times than you would get just from taking the vaccine alone," said Hong.

Novavax is a 2 year trial, similar to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine trial.

Some locals, like Jason Renzaglia and his husband Keith Lunday, are part of the Johnson and Johnson one-dose study. They already received their shots; however, they don’t truly know whether they got the placebo.

"What if it turn out the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is only 70% effective when the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine are 95% effective? And then it turns out I got the vaccine? Am I going to want to go and get the Pfizer on top of that?" asked Lunday.

They both say the trial has been an easy and painless process. They had a couple of doctor visits, downloaded an app and check in twice a week.

Their main concern right now is making sure they can get a COVID vaccine as soon as possible.

"If it get’s to the phase where the vaccine is available and we can just walk up to get it, I think both of us are going to want to do that," said Renzaglia.

Hong said it's recommended for patients to remain in their trials because there’s no way of knowing if there could be a cross-reaction or an enhanced response.

"So far the vaccines have been safe and certainly much safer than the actual disease," said Hong.

He also said all patients will be compensated for their time.

More information and enrollment forms are available on their website.

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