WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced Tuesday that he has enrolled as a candidate in the ENSEMBLE Phase 3 vaccine trial.
Portman released the following statement:
While our country continues to address the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis – which continues to get worse with cases skyrocketing across Ohio – I’ve been encouraged by our progress in developing effective vaccines. The clinical trials being conducted around the country are critical to verifying the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines and making them available as soon as possible.
“After getting briefed on the Janssen-Johnson & Johnson phase 3 trial recently by Cincinnati’s own CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services, I decided to step forward and enroll in the trial myself. I look at it as a way I can play a small role in supporting our country’s health care response to this pandemic. The more people Johnson & Johnson has in the trial, the sooner they can have the complete data they need to finalize this phase of the trial, and move on to the FDA approval process.
"Once vaccines are authorized by the FDA and are made widely available, Ohioans and all Americans will be safer. When this happens, people will feel more comfortable returning to the workplace, retail establishments, restaurants, places of worship, and schools, as well as gathering with family and friends. We all want life to return to normal, and nothing is more important to that happening than wide-scale vaccinations. That’s why I believe the work on vaccines is the single most important part of the ongoing COVID-19 response effort.
“I hope that my announcement today will encourage others to feel confident in participating in vaccine clinical trials being conducted across this country. I also hope it will reassure people about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines once they have gone through the trials and FDA approval process.”
The vaccine is being developed by Janssen-Johnson & Johnson and managed by CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services at its research center in Cincinnati.
ENSEMBLE is enrolling up to 60,000 volunteers across three continents and will study the safety and efficacy of a single vaccine dose versus placebo in preventing COVID-19.
Two other promising vaccines are currently in Phase 3 trials - a two-shot regimen from Pfizer that the company says is 90% effective, and a Moderna vaccine that the biotech company says is 94.5% effective in clinical trials.