Rockland pharma giant Pfizer looks to expand COVID-19 vaccine trial to 40,000 volunteers

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is looking to bring thousands more to volunteer in clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine.
To ensure that the vaccine works by October, Rockland-based Pfizer is now pushing to expand its trial to 44,000 instead of the initial target of 30,000.
"Now we feel quite comfortable with the safety of the product, so we want to expand to more vulnerable populations," says Albert Bourla, Ph.D, CEO of Pfizer.
The vulnerable populations include adolescents as young as 16 and people with chronic illnesses such as HIV, hepatitis C or hepatitis B.
The move follows positive progress already reported in the trials, including only mild to moderate fever in fewer than 20% of participants.
Pfizer hopes to have regulatory approval by next month. President Donald Trump shared the news with voters over the weekend, saying a vaccine will be ready before the end of the year.
Pfizer is aiming to get thousands of doses distributed by the end of the year, but health experts say distribution and immunization will take time - even when the vaccine is ready.
"It won't be until we get into 2021 that you'll have hundreds of millions of doses, and just the logistics and constraints in vaccinating large numbers of people, it's going to take months to get enough people vaccinated to have an umbrella of immunity," says Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Related Information:
Participants who are interested can join their registry at nyulmc.org/covidvaccine or and can additionally call 877-919-2822 or email: covid_vaccine_study@nyulangone.org
General requirements are you must be:
1) 18 years or older
2) able to provide consent (understand and agree to the study procedures)
3) in stable health
4) have a higher than average risk of being exposed or becoming sick due to COVID
- Compensation usually ranges anywhere between $50-100 per visit
- Typically seven office visits over two years
- Plus weekly phone calls and/or e-diaries that are also compensated
- In total compensation ranges around $1,000-$1,300 over two years