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Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Trial At South Bend Clinic Continues With Two-Shot Study

(Courtesy of IU Health)

Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use late last month, but trials for a two-dose version of the vaccine are ongoing – including at the South Bend Clinic’s Center for Research.

The clinic first joined the Johnson & Johnson trial back in December. Dr. James Harris, director of the clinic’s research center, said now that the one-shot vaccine has been approved, researchers are testing the efficacy of a two-dose vaccine.


“It’d be a booster, just like in the other vaccines," Harris said. "Even though we know the one shot by itself is very effective, perhaps two shots is even better.” 


Harris saud in the coming week, participants who received a placebo in the clinic’s one-shot trial will be notified and administered the real vaccine. 


Starting next week, he said participants will receive either the single-shot vaccine or a two-shot regimen, with a booster administered two months after the first dose.


Harris said the roughly 100 current trial participants will be able to continue with the trial if they wish. But the clinic is also looking for new participants, especially minority participants and people with comorbidities like diabetes or heart disease.


Harris said the study will ultimately last two years, with researchers testing antibody levels every six months. That way, he said, they can learn how long the shots last, how effective they are over time and whether they may need to be repeated in the future.


"There's so many questions that still need to be answered that can only be answered with time and follow-through with studies like ours," Harris said.


Those interested in participating in the trial can contact the South Bend Clinic Center for Research at (574) 204-6192.


Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Dr. James Harris's first name as "Richard." It has since been corrected.


Contact Gemma atgdicarlo@wvpe.orgor follow her on Twitter at@gemma_dicarlo.


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Gemma DiCarlo came to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.
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