JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. — A clinical trial is happening in the Tri-Cities region to help find a treatment and vaccine for COVID-19.
Braxton Sluder from Jonesborough is among 500 people volunteering to be injected with the investigative drug.
"I decided to sign up and be a part of something positive," said Sluder.
Sluder is one of 30,000 people who will participate in a COVID-19 vaccine trial sponsored by New York City-based Pfizer. The pharmaceutical company’s study will be conducted at 120 sites around the world — including Holston Medical Group.
The goal is to find a safe and effective vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19.
"Given the situation we're in with the pandemic, you just feel powerless a lot of the times and this just gives me an opportunity to do something proactive and make a change and make a difference," said Sluder.
250 people will participate in Bristol and 250 in Kingsport. Those that participate in the study will get two injections that are three weeks apart.
"The goal is to get a vaccine that provides solid immunity against this novel coronavirus," said HMG's Director of Research, Dr. David Morin.
Dr. Morin said half patients in the study will receive the vaccine, and the other half will get a placebo.
"They'll also have a diary after the vaccination to keep track of any symptoms and a number to call should they develop any symptoms of COVID-19," he said.
Even though there are always risks in a clinical trial, Sluder said he is proud to be one of the 30,000 people looking to fight against COVID-19.
"I read about the potential side effects," he said. "The side effects are normal side effects for most vaccines. I've never had an allergic reaction to a vaccine before so I thought it would be a risk I could take."
HMG is still searching for participants to be a part of the vaccine trial.
If you want more information about the study, you can click here or you can call the Kingsport office at (423) 230-2436 or the Bristol office at (423) 274-6367.