Metro Detroit Center Seeks Volunteers for Phase 3 Trial of Covid Vaccine

August 19, 2020, 3:30 PM

The Michigan Center of Medical Research in Farmington Hills is supporting a Phase 3 trial for a Covid-19 vaccine by Pfizer, a pharmaceutical giant based in New York. 

The research center on Orchard Lake Road, the only participant in Michigan, is among more than 120 sites worldwide that plan to collectively enroll up to 30,000 people. It began its study Aug. 10 and hopes to recruit more than 500 volunteers soon. 

"We are looking for healthy adults ages 18 to 85 who have not been previously infected with Covid-19," says Dr. Wendy Sadoff, a Farmington Hills dermatologist co-leading the local project. "We are aiming to recruit from a diverse population to ensure the efficacy of the vaccine."

The vaccine is one of many around the world that are in trial phases to determine safety and effectiveness. No vaccine has U.S. approval yet. 

Dr. Wendy Sadoff

An earlier phase of the Pfizer study involved near 120 patients and showed an overall favorable outcome, with no serious side effects, Sadoff said. Some people experienced mild, temporary symptoms like fever, fatigue and chills. 

Half of those tested in the Phase 3 trial will randomly receive a placebo (neutral shot with no medication). Participants will get paid for their time and transporation costs.  

The vaccine or placebo will be injected into the muscle in the upper arm. Every participant will receive two injections, either three weeks or two months apart.

Patients will be monitored for 30 to 60 minutes after each injection. They will then be given an eDiary phone app, a digital thermometer and a caliper to note redness or swelling at the spot of the injection. The participant will complete the e-diary once a day for seven days after an injection to record reactions. 

In all, participants need to visit the study center six times and any time after experiencing Covid symptoms. 

Those interested in participarting can call (248) 747-4383 or email

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