By Jhoana T. Merino-Martinez
The Institute for Clinical Research at the Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck is seeking people to enroll in a coronavirus-prevention vaccine trial. It is the only hospital in the region with this option available.
Bergen County leads the state in COVID-19 cases, with more than 22,000 confirmed as of Sept. 24.
The hospital is collaborating with Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in a national COVID-19 clinical trial program that is available to Bergen County residents who meet criteria for inclusion.
According to the Holy Name Medical Center’s page for the clinical trial, it has “excellent safety ratings” based on the study’s early data. The study involves a single injection of two synthetic COVID-19 antibodies created in a laboratory setting.
Started in mid-June at Holy Name, the program currently has three clinical trials in operation: Phase 1/2/3 trials for treating hospitalized and non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and a Phase 3 trial to prevent virus infection in high-risk unaffected people.
Participants may be compensated up to $3,650 for joining the trials. Each will be paid $125 for each visit after a successful cooperation.
This is a blind study, meaning half the participants will receive the treatment and the other half a placebo, a scientific method to assess the viability of results. Participants from both groups will follow up weekly for four weeks, then monthly for six months.
To qualify, participants must be 18 years or older, be negative for COVID-19 and call within 96 hours after the most recent positive result in their household.
If a candidate develops coronavirus symptoms before being accepted, he/she may be eligible for an additional controlled-study treatment option.
To enroll in the study, visit the Holy Name Medical Center’s page.
Holy Name Medical Center is also offering testing, support and resources for concerned residents and those affected by the coronavirus.
Brittany Horowitz, a vice president at Edelman, a public relations firm, said residents can access experts to answer questions and concerns about the virus and the trial process, responding to an email by The Equinox.
“COVID-19 has shocked and transformed communities across the globe,” Horowitz said. “We can offer you local experts who can discuss the testing and trials process and the impact coronavirus is having on Teaneck.”
Two local experts — Dr. Suraj Saggar, chief of infectious diseases, and Dr. Thomas Birch, infectious disease specialist and medical director for the Institute for Clinical Research — are on standby to answer questions about coronavirus, clinical trials and community-support resources.
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