On Tuesday, Boeson Research announced a new study in conjunction with Pfizer for a new maternal COVID-19 vaccine. The study will be conducted in Missoula and surrounding areas. Boeson is currently recruiting volunteers to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine given to pregnant women designed to minimize or eliminate COVID-19 symptoms. Executive Director Stephen Loosli explains.

“The current emergency authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine that is out there now is for the general population,” Loosli said. “It is not specifically yet for pregnant women or for primary age children. It is believed to be safe for those populations, but we need to make some evaluations with volunteers willing to try it. We are on to phase three, which means that we have gone through a lot of the early determination of risk and we feel very comfortable with where that sits.”

At this stage of the trial, recruitment will focus on volunteers who are healthy pregnant females 18 years of age or older with an uncomplicated, singleton pregnancy between 27 and 34 weeks gestation. As part of the study, volunteers will receive two vaccine or two placebo injections during their pregnancy and have six blood draws.

“Things that we are looking for in this particular case and on this particular study are any pain or any side effects noticed after either of the two doses,” Loosli said. “We will follow mom for six months after the delivery of the child and we are following the baby. This particular vaccine trial is not designed to provide any protection to the infant. The infant will maybe get some spill over from mom’s blood, but that is a secondary interest that we want to take a look at.”

Infants will provide a cord blood sample from delivery, have a blood draw at 6 months of age, and be monitored for any signs of COVID-19 symptoms.

Loosli answered the question that is on everyone’s mind and that is if this study is safe or not.

“Yes, it is safe, but there are always concerns when you are dealing with an experimental vaccine,” Loosli said. “We have now, surprisingly, not just that 60,000 study population, but there now have been millions of people vaccinated in the U.S., myself included. We have millions of example now in the country for the safety of this vaccine.”

Loosli said expecting mothers should speak with their obstetricians about this study and see if it is something they might want to volunteer for. Participating volunteers will be compensated for their participation. Those who are interested in volunteering can visit here.

You can listen to the entire Talk Back interview below.

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