UW Health’s Dr. Jeff Pothof first to receive COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trial

Over the next eight weeks, 1,600 people will take part in the study at University Hospital.
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 4:09 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial is now underway at UW Health. The Clinical Research Unit at University hospital is vaccinating the first participants in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 clinical trial.

The first one to receive an injection in Madison is Dr. Jeff Pothof, the UW-Health Chief Quality Officer. He says that because his professional life has been consumed with COVID-19 over the past few months, he felt called to be part of the solution.

“I just wanted to step up and be a part of that. I felt that was important for me,” said Dr. Pothof. “I feel it’s great to try and be a part of this and do what I can to try and make this pandemic go away.”

Pothof says he’s confident in the progress the vaccine has made so far from what early research indicates.

“We think it’s our best shot to make a difference,” he said. “I really understand the risk and benefits of this vaccine and I really think it’s our best chance of getting back to normal.”

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24 more people will receive the vaccine on Thursday and Friday. Over the next 8 weeks, 1,600 people will take part in the study.

Since UW-Health announced the clinical trial earlier this week, there’s been an interest. UW-Health spokesperson shared over 1,000 people have sent emails and over 100 have called into the hotline to learn more.

“I think that COVID-19 has affected so many of us so significantly that there are a lot of people that are willing to step up and take part of this trial so we can get over this,” Pothof said.

To be eligible for the study, participants must be at least 18 years old, healthy or have medically stable chronic diseases. They also cannot have a previously confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

The screening, treatment, and follow-up will all take place at University Hospital in Madison. Participants will receive the injections and study-related medical care from UW Health doctors at no cost.

The study will last around two years and those who are part of the study will periodically undergo tests to monitor their health. This includes physical examinations, measurements of vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate, blood tests, and COVID-19 testing.

Approximately 30,000 participants will take part in this study nationwide.

People interested in learning more about participating in the study can do so by emailing uwcovidvaccine@clinicaltrials.wisc.edu or calling the hotline at 608-262-8300 or 833-306-0681. You can also visit this website.

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