Ochsner Health becomes 1 of 120 sites around the world to conduct Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine study

Nearly 900 hospitalized COVID 19 patients
Nearly 900 hospitalized COVID 19 patients(WVUE)
Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 at 6:09 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Ochsner Health is one of 120 sites around the world that’s participating in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine study.

Dr. Julia Garcia-Diaz is the principal investigator for the Ochsner study. She says they’ll be looking for side effects, safety and if the vaccine actually works.

Ochsner’s enrolling about 200 to 300 people from an existing pool of candidates interested in COVID-19 research. The enrollment process will take about 4 weeks, but the study will begin immediately.

50 percent of the patients will receive the vaccine, while the other 50 percent will receive a placebo.

The patient, nor the investigator will know which one they received, but the data will be collected from both.

“Do you have fever? Do you feel fatigued or tired? Does the sight of the vaccine hurt? All of this information will be gathered from the patients and we will have multiple visits. We also gather blood, so there are multiple things that will occur throughout the trial,” said Julia Garcia-Diaz, M.D.

The data will be placed into a computerized system that analyzes the effects. The goal is to prevent COVID-19 in people who have not been infected prior to immunization and also to prevent those who previously had COVID-19, from getting it again.

This trial will last for 24 months, but Dr. Garcia-Diaz says they’ll look at the results early in hopes of getting a vaccine sooner.

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