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San Antonio Military Health System Seeks Volunteers For COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

Marcy Edwards, a Military Health System beneficiary, signs up for Operation Warp Speed, Nov. 2, 2020.
U.S. Army photo by Jason W. Edwards
Marcy Edwards, a Military Health System beneficiary, signs up for Operation Warp Speed, Nov. 2, 2020.

The trial is part of Operation Warp Speed, a national initiative to accelerate the development, production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

Brooke Army Medical Center and Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center are among several Defense Department sites chosen to evaluate a COVID-19 vaccine by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

The others are Naval Medical Center San Diego; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland; and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia.

With more than 80 sites in communities nationwide, the trial has an overall target enrollment of 30,000 participants. Military sites hope to draw 3,000 of those volunteers.

“We are honored to be among those sites selected in support of this whole-of government effort to ensure safe, effective medical products are provided at a critical time to the American people,” added Brig. Gen. Shan Bagby, BAMC commanding general. “SAMHS has the existing research infrastructure and experience to make a significant contribution to this important effort.”

BAMC and Wilford Hall are asking for military beneficiaries, 18 years of age and older, to volunteer.

According to a DoD release, 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 nursing homes
  • A member of a community that has been hardest hit by this pandemic, such as older people, individuals with underlying health conditions, and racial/ethnic groups such as African Americans, Latino, and Native American populations.

Beneficiaries can sign up for consideration now by reaching out to either site.

Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (Site Code: WHASC)
Recruitment Phone Number: 253-341-6170
Email: covidwhasc@genevausa.org

Brooke Army Medical Center (Site Code: BAMC)
Recruitment Phone Number: 253-924-9458
Email: covidbamc@genevausa.org

Alternatively, volunteers can also visit www.CoronavirusPreventionNetwork.org, click on “Volunteer Now” and complete the survey. When requested, volunteers should enter the appropriate site code, which is BAMC or WHASC, depending on their preference and geographic location.

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Carson Frame can be reached carson@tpr.org and on Twitter at @carson_frame