Kentucky university, hospitals to do COVID-19 vaccine trial

The University of Kentucky and partner Baptist Health Lexington were selected to conduct a COVID-19 vaccine trial, the school announced Thursday.

UK and Baptist also partnered with Norton Healthcare for the trial. The vaccine study plans to enroll 2,000 local volunteers, according to UK.

The vaccine trial has entered phase 3, according to an announcement from UK. This phase of the study will help determine whether the vaccine works and how safe it is, according to UK. The drug would have had to go through a few prior phases to get to this point, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Those interested in being a volunteer can find more information at stopcovidky.com.

“Volunteers from diverse groups are needed,” UK said on its website. The experimental vaccine doesn’t include the live virus, UK said.

The drug study, known as the “ENSEMBLE study,” is being conducted by Janssen Pharmaceutica, according to the study’s website. Participants in the study could be in the program for over two years, according to the study’s website.

Volunteers must be 18 or older, be in “good or stable health” and can’t have received a previous COVID-19 vaccine, according to the study’s website. The study team would contact participants it selects over the next eight to 10 weeks.

Jeremy Chisenhall covers breaking news for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Kentucky.com. He joined the paper in 2020, and is originally from Erlanger, Ky.

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