St. Jude, UTHSC looking for local participants in phase 3 of COVID-19 vaccine trial

St. Jude, UTHSC looking for local participants in phase 3 of COVID-19 vaccine trial

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mid-South leaders in the medical community are searching for participants for the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccine trial.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center are offering a testing site for the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson’s Phase 3 clinical research study, ENSEMBLE trial.

“The opportunity to be able to open one of the vaccine trials in Memphis and be able to offer it to our country is a bonus,” said Dr. Aditya H. Gaur, Clinical Director, Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “There is an urgency to finding a vaccine because so much is at stake. At the same time, research can never have speed while compromising safety.”

St. Jude and UTHSC are looking to enroll 500 adults for the trial in the Memphis area. Participants will be reimbursed for reasonable trial-related travel expenses to and from study visits. Researchers are focusing on those who have a higher likelihood of being exposed to COVID-19 in their daily lives.

Participants will receive a single shot of either the candidate vaccine or a placebo. The trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

“It is very normal for people to feel fear and to be anxious or to have questions when participating in a trial. And that is front and center of how research is done. We should be able to answer all of your questions,” said Gaur.

Eligible participants include:

  • Aged 18 years of age or older
  • In stable health
  • Have not received a prior COVID-19 vaccine

They are looking to enroll people who are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19, including:

  • People with underlying medical conditions
  • People with greater chances of exposure at their job
  • People who live or work in elder-care facilities
  • People over age 65
  • People who work in jails or prisons
  • People from racial and ethnic groups that have been impacted in greater numbers by the COVID-19 pandemic, including people who are African American/Black, Latinx, American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaskan Native.

For more information on participating in the COVID-19 vaccine trial, click here or email

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