UC, UC Health administer first doses in COVID-19 vaccine trial

Phase 3 clinical trial will evaluate efficacy of Moderna vaccine candidate

Clinicians at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and UC Health have administered the first doses in a groundbreaking clinical trial that will evaluate the effectiveness of a vaccine for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

The first patient to receive a dose in the study was Jarelle Marshall, 37, an IT professional who lives in Cincinnati.

“We’re all in this together. We all want to get things back open and get back to as normal as possible,” says Marshall, the father of a fourteen-year old son. “I try to always teach my son to walk the walk. You can say all these things and tell everybody something but to actually walk the walk and do what you say you’re going to do, and if you’re going to try to help people, you just do it.”

patient receiving shot

Jarelle Marshall, 37, an IT professional who lives in Cincinnati, was the first patient to receive the first dose in Cincinnati in a groundbreaking clinical trial that will evaluate the effectiveness of a vaccine for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

We’re all in this together. We all want to get things back open and get back to as normal as possible.

Jarelle Marshall

The first doses were administered via syringe by licensed pharmacists, and study participants will receive a second dose in approximately one month.

Patients who participate in the blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study will receive either the vaccine, or a placebo, in two injections. The vaccine is incorporated into the patient’s cells, which should begin producing a viral antigen to which the immune system can respond. Patients will keep a daily electronic diary of their symptoms, and also participate in telehealth and clinic visits with UC Health clinicians over a two-year period.

pharmacist with syringe

A pharmacist prepares the first dose, which was administered via syringe. Study participants will receive a second dose in approximately one month. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

patient signing forms in waiting room

Jarelle Marshall signs consent forms during screening for the trial in Holmes Hospital on the UC Medical Campus, where the trial is being hosted. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

A doctor in a lab coat looks at medical file folders in a laboratory

Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the UC College of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

"Providing our community an opportunity to become part of the solution to ending the COVID-19 pandemic is very important. [This trial] places Cincinnati squarely on the cutting edge of new scientific discoveries and allows our citizens to take action and help us find a preventive vaccine for COVID-19,” says Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, co-investigator and medical director of the study. 

Fichtenbaum is a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine and a UC Health physician.

Read more about the study and the first trial participant. 

Featured photo by Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand.

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