Participants for COVID-19 vaccine trial sought in Butte

Posted at 12:31 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 14:32:06-05

BUTTE — About 50 people from the Butte area are participating in a clinical trial of a possible COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s really exciting and it’s really great that we here in Butte can contribute to the scientific knowledge to maybe get us over this hump of a pandemic,” said Dr. Jennifer Davenport, the chief medical officer at St. James Healthcare.

The trial is being headed by Dr. John Pullman with Mercury Street Medical Clinical Research and St. James Healthcare. They have completed the first phase of a three-phase trial of a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca.

The vaccine is being administered to people who do not have COVID-19. Out of every three patients, two receive the vaccine and one receives a placebo.

Officials say the first phase is going well.

“Butte is the only community in Montana that has access to this vaccine in particular for the trial, and it has proven, at least preliminarily, looks like a really great vaccine, so we’re really trying to get as many people as we can enrolled,” said Davenport.

Health officials chose Butte to conduct the trial because this region has the perfect demographic that a potential vaccine would help.

“The one thing that we do have is a fairly elderly population with a lot of comorbidities, and so we have a high-risk population for COVID-19. So it would be good to be able to provide potentially some immunity here in our community,” said Davenport.

Those interested in participating can call (406) 723-1375.