Q and A with leader of new COVID-19 vaccine trials

Patrick Flume, M.D.

, an MUSC pulmonologist who co-led the AstraZeneca vaccine trial that recruited more than 650 people in Charleston answers questions about the Novavax and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine trials that just launched in January. Flume also co-directs the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute, the mission of which is to speed research breakthroughs, such as the COVID-19 vaccines, into the clinic.

The Novavax and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen trials will be recruiting 600 participants each in the Charleston area, and participants will be compensated. Flume would like to recruit clinical trial participants who reflect the diversity of the population.

“We need a broad mix of people to participate,” said Flume. “We need young and old, men and women, black and white, Hispanic and non-Hispanic.”

Such diversity helps to ensure that the vaccine, once released, will work in all of these groups.

“If we do a study in all young white people and the drug works, will it work in an older black person?” asked Flume. “Probably, but I would feel a lot more confident about that if we had these people in the study.”

To learn more about joining one of the COVID-19 clinical trials, visit the COVID-19 clinical trial website

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