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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Cincinnati Children's Looking For COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Participants

coronavirus vaccine
Jessica Hill

Cincinnati Children's is looking for around 500 people to participate in a Phase 3 clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine in development by AstraZeneca.

Children's is one of about 60 sites nationwide participating in the trial. Researchers here are particularly interested in enrolling African Americans, Latino, people 65 and older, and first responders.

"One of our goals is to have a large representation of minorities – Hispanics and Blacks – because they've been harder hit," says David Bernstein, MD, principal investigator and professor in the UC Department of Pediatrics. "We're looking for people at higher risk of exposure or more likely to get ill. We are going to heavily enroll the elderly, minorities and first responders – including health care workers."

Participants will receive two shots - either the proposed AZD1222 vaccine or a placebo - 28 days apart. The proposed vaccine contains COVID proteins, but not the virus that causes the illness, Children's says.

Researchers want to enroll 30,000 people nationwide.

The trial was paused in September "because of a 'potentially unexplained illness' in one of the trial volunteers," NPR reported. The Food and Drug Administration authorized the U.S. trial to resume Oct. 23, according to AstraZeneca.

More information on how to participate can be found here.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.