UVM hopes to be part of COVID-19 vaccine testing

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Will the University of Vermont participate in COVID-19 vaccine research and testing?

The UVM Larner College of Medicine is hoping to be part of one of the vaccine trials. We're told they haven't been selected as a site but there are conversations going on.

However, Vermont's success in quashing COVID-19 may put them at a disadvantage.

"It's faster to do a vaccine study somewhere where there is a lot of coronavirus circulating. And we right now are fortunate that we don't have a lot of coronavirus circulating, so it's kind of a mixed blessing," said Dr. Beth Kirkpatrick of the UVM Larner College of Medicine.

The state is looking for a few things during the trials before they endorse any COVID-19 vaccine to the population.

The health commissioner says they're looking for: safety-- that it won't have serious side effects; effectiveness, so they don't falsely reassure people who get it; and large-scale studies, so that we know the vaccine would benefit everyone, not just certain population groups.