VA Joins Pentagon in Recruiting Volunteers for COVID Vaccine Trials

The Department of Veterans Affairs is recruiting 8,000 volunteers for the Phase 3 clinical trials of at least four COVID-19 vaccine candidates at 20 federal medical facilities across the U.S., according to officials with the VA and Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s initiative to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine.

The largely unpublicized effort follows a Department of Defense announcement in September that it has partnered with AstraZeneca to recruit volunteers at five of its medical facilities, which are separate from the VA system.

DOD is also is in talks with developers of other vaccine candidates, although officials won’t say which ones.

Both federal departments have long experience in medical research and diverse populations — a crucial component of effective clinical trials, said J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of global

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