From a single small vial, the manufacture of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), COVID Vaccine begins. COL Deydre Teyhen, Commander of WRAIR, and MAJ Jeffrey Froud, Director of the WRAIR Pilot Bioproduction Facility (PBF) Quality Assurance team removed cell starting material from liquid nitrogen storage signifying the initiation of WRAIR’s vaccine material. WRAIR accelerated the progression of this vaccine technology development from the bench through parallel collaborative efforts between internal R&D and PBF resources and hopes it will be carried forward as a model of advanced manufacturing development and preparedness response. (Photo by Shawn Fury/Walter Reed Army Institute of Research)

DoD Sites in D.C. Area, San Diego, Texas Selected for Phase III COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

As part of the Operation Warp Speed (OWS) goal to deliver safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics by January 2021, five DoD locations have been identified to participate in the Phase III trial evaluating the vaccine candidate AZD1222 under development by AstraZeneca.

“The Department of Defense continues to play a key role in the development of a potential COVID-19 vaccine,” said Honorable Tom McCaffery, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. “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 DoD sites selected are:

  • 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, visit www.CoronavirusPreventionNetwork.org, click on “Volunteer Now” and complete the survey. Once the survey is completed, 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.

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 infection which may include:

  • Working in an essential job, such as healthcare professions, emergency response personnel, grocery workers, meat-packing plants, restaurant staff, public transit, etc.
  • Living in densely populated residential environments
  • Living or working in congregated living facilities such as correctional facilities or nursing homes
  • A member of a community that has been hardest hit by this pandemic, such as older persons, persons with underlying health conditions, and racial/ethnic groups such as African Americans, Latino, and Native American populations.

OWS 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 (countermeasures) for the virus.

Direct support for this effort is provided by the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) in coordination with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (OASD(HA))and the Defense Health Agency (DHA).

Read more at the Defense Department

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