DeLand, St. Petersburg sites will participate
While the world’s focus was on developing a vaccine for COVID-19 over the last year, many other important clinical trials were put on hold. Now, Accel Research Sites is enrolling patients in a trial that could help preserve the lung health of vulnerable older people in a different way.
“As our population of baby boomers are increasing, so are RSV infections in the over 60-year-old groups. RSV cases are especially seen in individuals with respiratory illnesses like COPD, asthma, heart conditions, and those with a declining or weakened immune systems,” said Dr. Bruce Rankin, principal investigator for the DeLand site trial.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a virus that can cause a lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI).
Many older adults care for younger age children and become exposed since it is very contagious through person-to-person contact.
“Pediatricians have been documenting a rise in the number of cases of RSV in children 5 and under and it is now the most common cause of LRTI in that age group. RSV accounts as the most common cause of viral LRTI hospitalizations for infants and children in the first 5 years of life,” said Rankin. “Our Immune response to RSV infections are weak during the first five years of life so RSV reinfections can be common.”
People who get a negative Covid test and are symptomatic probably still have some type of viral illness such as a common cold or influenza virus. A lab test running full RT- PCR Respiratory Tract infection panels will find many other causes when Covid PCR’s are negative including RSV.
“Several hospital studies of inpatients find RSV to be more common and causing more illness in their centers in the older population than influenza cases. We help reduce severe illness and hospitalizations of influenza in the over 60-year-old group by annual influenza vaccinations. We do not have a vaccine for RSV at this time, but clinical trials are currently enrolling to test a new RSV vaccine for both of these high risk age groups,” said Rankin.
Current treatments for RSV infections are supportive so prevention measures are needed. Effective RSV vaccines can help provide that prevention.
Accel Research Sites has two locations—DeLand and St. Petersburg—participating in a clinical trial for a vaccine against Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV.
“One thing to come out of the pandemic is that people got a glimpse into the world of clinical trials and how important they are,” said Lora Parahovnik, CEO of Accel Research Sites. “We hope this will help clarify the process and prompt people to participate as we all work together to further innovation in science and medicine—innovation that can benefit us all.”
The trial will enroll approximately 23,000 participants nationwide. The vaccine is administered via an injection, with some patients receiving the vaccine and others receiving a placebo. They will be monitored through 7-8 additional visits over the course of 12 months.
The trial is specifically seeking adults over 60, especially those who are high-risk, including those with asthma, lung disease and who are immunocompromised.
Parahovnik added that there is a strong demand for a vaccine for RSV because of its effect on the older population in non-COVID years.
Those who are interested in participating should visit https://accelresearchsites.com/get-started A member of the Accel team will follow up to determine eligibility.