Coping with COVID: Vaccine trial to be offered by KU Medical Center and Children’s Mercy

The two hospitals will soon lead the trial of an AstraZeneca vaccine in the region, looking for 1,500 people in the Kansas City metro willing to participate.

A nationwide trial of an AstraZeneca vaccine is looking for participants in the Kansas and Missouri region to participate in a clinical COVID-19 vaccine trial.

Regionally, the trial is looking for 1,500 participants and is being organized by the University of Kansas Medical Center and Children’s Mercy, according to a Wednesday news release from Children’s Mercy Kansas City.

The trial is being conducted as part of the COVID-19 Prevention Network, known as CoVPN, and was created by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally developed by Oxford University before being purchased by AstraZeneca, the vaccine being used in the trial is called AZD1222.

“This vaccine is very exciting,” Dr. Mario Castro said. Castro is the vice chair for Clinical and Transitional Research and a pulmonologist at the University of Kansas School of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine.

Local health officials have said the vaccine is due to launch in mid-to-late August and is the second of three phases for the trial funded by the NIH and sponsored by AstraZeneca.

The study of the trial is focusing on efforts at more than 100 sites nationwide, involving 30,000 participants nationally.

Adults over the age of 18 who are considered high-risk for coming into contact with COVID-19 will be recruited into the study, the release said, and participants will be randomized to determine who receives the vaccine.

Individuals who are staying home and drastically limiting contact with others likely will not be eligible. Two out of every three participants will receive the vaccine, with the third receiving a placebo, according to the release.