Thousands needed for COVID-19 treatment research: How to sign up

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Researchers are looking for thousands of volunteers to sign up for clinical trials in search of a treatment for COVID-19.

“We really don’t have therapies right now if you call your doctor and say, ‘I was just diagnosed with COVID, what should I do?'” said Dr. David Wohl, an infectious diseases expert at the University of North Carolina. “There’s really nothing that doctor can call into a pharmacy and give you to prevent you from getting sicker.”

Dr. Wohl is part of an effort to encourage people to take part in clinical trials with a newly-formed initiative created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services called Combat COVID.

“Combat COVID is an umbrella term for the studies that we are looking at. We are trying to find therapy for people that are newly-diagnosed with COVID,” said Dr. Wohl.

The website is a one-stop resource to help individuals and health care providers in the fight against COVID-19 and lists clinical studies available for participants.

Dr. Wohl said they are looking for thousands of volunteers.

“There is a list of different medicines that look very promising either in the lab or in a few people who’ve been treated with them. So I think it’s really important that we take promising medicines and study them.”

Dr. Wohl said some promising studies may eventually lead to medication in the form of a pill or inhaler that could treat and help prevent the spread of the virus, if enough research is conducted and if enough people of color sign up to be part of it.

“When we do find a medication that works really well, we want to be able to say people just like you were studied, people just like you were in these clinical trials, so you can have more faith in it,” he said.

The clinical trials that comprise Combat COVID are supported through a public/private partnership coordinated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health called Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV).

ACTIV’s goal is to discover safe and effective treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

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