COVID-19 vaccine study in Sherbrooke

By Reann Fournier, Special to The Record
COVID-19 vaccine study in Sherbrooke

Sherbrooke-based Q&T Research is recruiting individuals to participate in the second phase of clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine. The 600-participant trial will take place in fifteen sites across North America, including one in the Sherbrooke area.
Pierre Gervais, a pharmacist and research director at Q&T described the study, saying that, while some countries are opting to vaccinate participants and place them in COVID wings to observe, this is not the course Canadian researchers are taking.
“We will be vaccinating the participants with two separate vaccinations, one being a placebo, and taking blood before and after each,” he said. “We’re hoping to have an immune-response that can be measured.”
Gervais said that the participants will be vaccinated and then released to their daily lives, with follow up appointments and phone calls.
“We will follow the participants for about a year looking for effects and anything that could look like COVID,” he said. “Anyone who shows symptoms will be tested and we will be able to identify how many positive COVID patients we have.”
The research companies participating in the study will then allocate responses to the treatment and be able to identify how many positive cases were discovered in each of the vaccination groups.
Those who wish to participate in the study are able to register through the Q&T website or by contacting the company directly. Gervais stated, however, that individuals do not need to be tech savvy to participate.
“We unfortunately do not have the time for the level of sophistication that a project involving tech would take,” he said. “We will continue dealing with papers, and participants just need to be over 18, in good health, and available for appointments and to take phone calls.”
Participants will be compensated for the inconvenience and kilometers travelled for appointments to an average of around $700.
Gervais added that, as a pharmacist, he distributes different types of drugs each day.
“Often, these different drugs make a difference in people’s lives, and that’s a big motivator for finding a vaccine,” he said. “We know this will make a difference in public health and help people during this crisis.”

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