Lifespan recruits volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine trial via new digital campaign

PROVIDENCE – As part of Lifespan Corp.’s effort to support a federal push toward developing a COVID-19 vaccine, the health system has launched a public campaign to recruit volunteers for a vaccine trial.

Lifespan’s newly launched digital campaign aimed at social media users encourages enrollment in the COVID-19 Prevention Network’s Volunteer Screening Registry. Those interested in participating in a local trial, should one open up, can sign up at www.lifespan.org/covidvax.

Lifespan, a member of the national COVID-19 Prevention Network, says it is awaiting selection of its Immunology Center at The Miriam Hospital as a vaccine trial site.

Rhode Islanders who use the code LIFE on the volunteer screening registry survey will be flagged as potential candidates for a clinical trial at Lifespan.

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Lifespan and its hospitals, which include Rhode Island Hospital and Newport Hospital, along with The Miriam, has taken a lead role in the state’s response to COVID-19, according to Michael Henderson, Lifespan’s vice president for research.

The system has cared for more than 1,000 patients infected with the virus, he added.

“While our efforts thus far have helped position Rhode Island to be among the nation’s best sites at limiting the spread of COVID-19, we will continue to leverage our clinical and scientific expertise to meet this moment. Lifespan’s involvement with the registry is one more way that we can make a national impact,” Henderson said. “We strongly encourage those who wish to join the fight against COVID-19 to please consider volunteering for a trial and signing up through the CoVPN registry.”

Dr. Karen Tashima, director of clinical trials at the Immunology Center and clinical research site leader for The Miriam, is overseeing the public campaign urging volunteer signup.

“Clinical trials are essential for identifying therapies that can prevent and treat disease, and volunteers play a critical role when it comes to developing vaccines to rapidly respond to dangerous pandemics,” Tashima said.

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN contributing writer.

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