Wake Research launches new COVID-19 vaccine trial in Triangle, looking for paid volunteers


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A new COVID-19 vaccine trial is taking place in the Triangle, and you could be paid for taking part in it.

Wake Research is conducting trials nonstop for COVID-19.

“Basically, we have four vaccines on the book and one potential treatment for COVID-19 too,” said Dr. Matthew Hong, principal investigator at Wake Research.

Hong said they did trials for the two FDA approved vaccines Pfizer and Moderna.

They’re also wrapping up a Janssen trial, which is a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine not yet approved.

This week, they started trials for the vaccine candidate Novavax.

“You kind of get to drive all the cars in the lot here from the experimental side, you get to see how all these different things work and which ones are the best,” said Hong.

He said they’re looking for volunteers in the Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville area. People are paid for their time.

Two thirds of people will get the actual vaccine over the placebo, which is more than the previous vaccine trials.

The Novavax vaccine is different from others as it’s expected to have a stronger and longer-lasting immune response.

That would especially benefit older populations.

“This is almost a back-to-the-future type scenario, this is a vaccine using much more state-of-the-art technology,” said Hong.

Hong said it’s on track to be approved within six months.

If the vaccine’s approved, people in the trial can ask if they received it or the placebo. If given the placebo, they can still get a vaccine and stay in the trial. That goes the same for other vaccine trials.

“It’s amazing what’s going on and I also compare it to almost World War Two — these crash programs to develop things and in a lot of ways it’s similar, although it’s very fast,” said Hong.

They’re hoping to get people who are under-represented and in minority communities to take part in the trials.

“150 years of technology is behind this,” said Hong. “It’s not like anybody has invented something overnight, but it’s been this gradual accretion of knowledge and experience.”

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