Volunteers needed for Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine trial

NOW: Volunteers needed for Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine trial


ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.—Johnson and Johnson is conducting two trials for their COVID-19 vaccine, across the world. One is a single shot, that’s already proving to be effective and the trial being done in Michiana is Johnson and Johnson’s double shot vaccine

Trials for the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine started at the beginning of January in Michiana. 

The medical director at South Bend Clinic said they anticipate at least 300 volunteers from Michiana to enroll, and about 30,000 worldwide.

 “If you get the first shot, you get the second shot about two months later, but what’s coming out now, is that the data from the one-shot trial is showing that the antibody response is 90 percent, so it’s looking to be effective and may, in fact, be the best vaccine,” Dr. James Harris said. 

 Dr. Harris said that he expects the double shot vaccine trial to end early because the one-shot data for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is proving to be effective. That means, if the FDA approves the vaccine, those who got the real vaccine during the trial won’t need to come in to get the second dose. 

 The South Bend Clinic is one of 100 sites, worldwide to be conducting the Johnson and Johnson clinical trial. Volunteers will either get a placebo or the real vaccine, but they won’t know until the trial is over. 

 The Johnson and Johnson trial is officially set to last two years, but immunizations are speeding towards FDA approval before trials end. Dr. Harris said the short-term effects are proving effective in preventing infections, but, we don’t know the long-term effects. 

“The vaccine right now we’ve got to follow up on about four to six months, so it looks like we still got antibody response, we don’t know six months to a year, what the data will look like, so it may look like a flu vaccine where you need it every year or it may be a one-shot thing like tetanus or polio,” Dr. Harris said.

Everyone participating in the trial will eventually get the real vaccine. To volunteer you just need to be 18 or older and I good or stable health. The clinical trial is being conducted to evaluate the efficiency and safety of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone who participates will follow up with a doctor.

“We get daily follow-ups from diaries; we contact them weekly throughout the study. If there are any side effects or problems, we like to hear from them about that,” Dr. Harris said. “They get immediate medical care should they have either a reaction or develop COVID infections. A very defined protocol that we follow, so we can be absolutely sure we capture all information about side effects, results, how well does it work, what are the problems involved.”

If you take part in the study, officials could follow up with you to determine the long-term effects.

 “When they get ill, they can come see us. The culture is done with us. We have the protocol to follow so we can be sure that we’re capturing the appropriate data for them. Because one of the important things is, does the vaccine works or not. So, when someone gets sick we want to find out who got sick with what and if they got the placebo or the real vaccine,” Dr. Harris said.

If you’re interested in the vaccine trial contact the South Bend Clinic Center for Research by calling the general South Bend Clinic number at (574) 234-8161 and ask for the research department. Everyone who participates in the vaccine trial will get the vaccine free ad will also be compensated. 

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