US Defense Department Selects Coronavirus Vaccine Test Sites

A single dose of the AZD1222 experimental vaccine resulted in a 4-fold increase in protective antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein
queue of people to get a vaccination

As part of the US Operation Warp Speed’s goal to deliver effective coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics by January 2021, the US Department of Defense (DoD) has identified locations to participate in the Phase III trial evaluating the vaccine candidate AZD1222

To ensure that the vaccines work to protect those at greatest risk, participation by people from communities that are hardest hit is critical. The study is looking for people who are at an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection.

As of September 3, 2020, the DoD sites selected in the USA are as follows:

  • Naval Medical Center San Diego (Site Code: NMSD)
  • Joint Base San Antonio Brooke Army Medical Center (Site Code: BAMC)
  • Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (San Antonio) (Site Code: WHASC)
  • Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Bethesda, MD) (Site Code: WRMC) and
  • Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (Fort Belvoir, VA) (Site Code FBCH)

To volunteer for this study, visit CoronavirusPreventionNetwork click on “Volunteer Now” and complete the survey. Once the survey is completed, the local study site coordinators will contact Military Health System beneficiary volunteers in their area who are a good match for the study. Please be sure to enter the appropriate site code.

The Honorable Tom McCaffery, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, said in a press statement: “Now that vaccines have passed the first phases of testing for safety, dosing and response, we are ready to move into the next phase where volunteers are needed to join large clinical studies. We are excited to have several sites identified to support the next steps in the vaccine development process.”

The AZD1222 coronavirus vaccine candidate, formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is made from a virus (ChAdOx1), which is a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees, that has been genetically changed so that it is impossible for it to grow in humans, says AstraZeneca.

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus uses its spike protein to bind to ACE2 receptors on human cells to gain entry to the cells and cause an infection. After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack the coronavirus if it later infects the body, and causes COVID-19 disease.

A report of the COV001/2 phase 1/2 study published on July 20, 2020, showed a single dose of AZD1222 resulted in a 4-fold increase in antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein in 95% of participants one month after injection.

The AZD1222 vaccine was developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, working with the Oxford Vaccine Group.

Operation Warp Speed is a U.S. government interagency endeavor that is focused on delivering 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 and is part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for the new coronavirus.

Direct support for this effort is provided by the U.S. DoD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense in coordination with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and the Defense Health Agency.

CoronavirusToday publishes coronavirus vaccine news.