By Maureen McNair
Less than two miles from our South Bay Food Pantry in Chula Vista, UC San Diego Medical School is conducting a Covid-19 prevention study to evaluate a vaccine. Pantry volunteer Jude Outwater, a senior at Lesley University in Boston and son of Board Vice President Julie Forrest, organized a visit by a representative from the Medical School to recruit study volunteers. Medical School Community Outreach Specialist Aaron Gutierrez spoke to Pantry clients and volunteers to ﬁnd adults, aged 18 and older, who are more likely to be exposed to Covid-19 and who might be interested in participating in the study, which does provide compensation.
Aaron was recruiting people who are more likely to be exposed to Covid-19 because they are people with an underlying condition, a greater chance of exposure at their job, who live or work in elder-care facilities, who are over 65 years old, who work in jails or prisons, or are “from racial and ethnic groups that have been impacted in greater numbers by the pandemic, such as African Americans, Latinos, Asian/Paciﬁc Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives.”
In the past, the UC San Diego Medical School Anti-Viral Research Center has conducted trials on HIV medications. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeﬁciency Syndrome. Drug manufacturers AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson invited UCSD Medical School to conduct the Covid-19 vaccine trial that started in Chula Vista last month.
Jude explained, "It was important for UCSD to come and hand out ﬂyers at the South Bay Food Pantry because when accurate information is spread about COVID-19, more people can be helped and it leads us closer to a vaccine.”
If you are interested in participating in the study, please contact UC San Diego at covidvaccinesd.com or call 619.742.0433 to speak to a coordinator or to enroll.
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