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Kaiser Permanente center in Portland to participate in late-stage trials for COVID-19 vaccine

Patients will be recruited locally and start receiving injections as early as next week, according to a spokesperson for Kaiser Permanente.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Kaiser Permanente Northwest's Center for Health Research in North Portland will participate in late-stage trials for a COVID-19 vaccine.

The center in Portland is one of three Kaiser Permanente sites across the country that will be taking part in the Phase 3 trials for the investigational vaccine BNT162b2, which was developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Patients will be recruited locally and start receiving injections as early as next week, according to a spokesperson for Kaiser Permanente.

In the Phase 3 double-blind trials, half the participants will receive the vaccine while the other half receive a placebo. Participants won't know whether they received the vaccine or the placebo.

"Our researchers and physicians are eager to contribute to the independent science that will ultimately lead to the development of a vaccine for COVID-19," said Stephen Fortmann, MD, senior science director and principal investigator for the trial at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. "We are working in partnership with researchers globally to ensure timely, safe, and effective vaccines can be developed so that we can prevent illness and save lives."

Credit: AP
John Burkhardt, left, senior vice president of drug safety R&D and head of the Pfizer Groton site speaks at a press conference at Pfizer Groton on the companies research to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, as Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont stands by to answer questions Wednesday, July 22, 2020, in Groton, Conn. The federal government has agreed to pay nearly $2 billion for 100 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the U.S. drugmaker and its German partner BioNTech. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

The goal is to enroll up to 30,000 participants for the trials at more than 120 sites around the world. Kaiser Permanente hopes to enroll about 1,400 participants between the center in Portland and two other sites in California.

Participants in Kaiser Permanente's trials must be between 18 and 85 years old who are not pregnant or planning to become pregnant during the trial.

The Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle is participating in trials for a separate COVID-19 investigational vaccine. Those trials entered Phase 3 at the end of July.