Rutgers University is a clinical trial site for the Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos. of Johnson & Johnson’s Phase 3 clinical research study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. And Rutgers is looking to enroll as many as 2,000 participants from the Rutgers community and around the state to take part.
Participants who meet the eligibility requirements for the study will be randomly selected to receive a single dose of the potential vaccine or a placebo. Researchers will track whether those who are vaccinated have lower rates of infection with moderate to severe symptoms than those who were unvaccinated.
Participants will be paid a small stipend for each visit that is a part of the study. But they will not know if they have been given the vaccine or a placebo. You do not have to be associated with the university to take part. In fact, those running the trial are looking for diversity.
XinQi Dong, director of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research and co-lead investigator who is directing community recruitment for the Johnson & Johnson trial, said the team wants a variety of 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,” he said. “Rutgers and the Institute for Health have strong community partnerships and existing relationships that will help us engage and enroll participants from minority communities who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic.”
Jeffrey Carson, co-lead investigator, a provost at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and distinguished professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said the school is committed to fighting the greatest public health challenge of this century.
“Our research team will enroll a large number of volunteers into this extremely important vaccine trial,” he said. “We will be offering participation to people who have enrolled in our prior COVID-19 studies with health care workers and Rutgers faculty, staff and alumni. We have no doubt that the Rutgers University community will rise to the challenge.”
This is the second Phase 3 vaccine trial being conducted at Rutgers.