St. Vincent’s Hospital looking for volunteers for COVID-19 vaccines

Volunteers needed for St. Vincent's vaccine trial

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - St. Vincent’s Hospital would like to see more volunteers to take part in their study for a vaccine to help against the coronavirus. The hospital is one of 87 sites taking part in what is called the COVE study.

This study is aimed at creating a vaccine that produces antibodies to fight COVID-19. They are seeking people in high risk groups: Those most affected and those who are dying because of the infectious disease.

St. Vincent’s Hospital started accepting volunteers into the study a couple of weeks ago. Quickly, they and other sites got enough volunteers of those 65 years and older. But now they need others in high risk groups.

“We are looking for healthcare workers. Nurses and doctors. Nursing home workers. First responders, police officers, firefighters,” said Dr. Tim Bode, Chief Clinical Officer.

Dr. Bode said they need a diversity of people, especially because minorities are being hit hard by the disease.

“We are looking for those in the African American community and Hispanic community. We know COVID has impacted those communities much harder, not only from a case rate, but even hospitalizations and even a two-fold higher death rate,” Dr. Bode said.

If accepted, you come in and take the first dose. Then you come back in 28 days later for a second dose. They will call you once a month for 24 months. You may be called in five times over that time period for blood work.

Dr. Bode said the vaccine is safe.

“There is nothing infectious in this vaccine at all. Some viruses in the past take them and activated them for immunization. This has nothing to do with that. There is no virus involved,” Bode said.

Dr. Bode said there is still a lot they don’t know about the virus, so bare that in mind. If you have received a flu shot over the last 14 days, you are ineligible to participate.

You can visit the St. Vincent’s Facebook page to take a survey and see if you qualify. This is voluntary. There is a small compensation for mileage and time.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.