Want to be part of the effort to create medical protection against COVID-19?

Rutgers University is a clinical trial site for the phase 3 vaccine study from Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and the university is attempting to enroll as many as 2,000 participants.

"Rutgers is committed to fighting the greatest public health challenge of this century," said Jeffrey Carson, provost at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. "We believe that a vaccine is one of our exits from this very difficult situation the U.S. is in, and of course the world."

Those who meet the eligibility requirements — over the age of 18, have not previously received a COVID-19 trial vaccine, and of generally good health — will be randomly selected to receive a dose of the potential vaccine or a placebo. Researchers will track whether those who are vaccinated have lower rates of infection than those who were injected with just a saline solution.

"In this study, part of the follow-up is that anyone who has symptoms has to report their temperature, has to report their oxygen levels, and they will get multiple tests to determine whether they have the disease or not," Carson said. "It will be recognized very early, and therefore medical treatment can be implemented and follow-up can be implemented very quickly."

Qualified participants will be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses. The signup website also mentions that participants would be "compensated for their time."

The global goal for the clinical trial is 60,000 participants.

"It's critical to have diverse participants in a coronavirus vaccine trial so we know it is effective for populations that are often underrepresented in research," said XinQi Dong, who's directing community recruitment for the Johnson & Johnson trial.

Rutgers is also one of 90 sites across the U.S. for Moderna's phase 3 vaccine trial. Both Pfizer and Moderna have said their potential vaccines appear to be at least 90% effective.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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