• Ideas
  • COVID-19

We Need One Million More Volunteers for the COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

2 minute read
Agus, MD, is the Founding Director and CEO of the Ellison Institute of Technology and a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California. His latest book is THE BOOK OF ANIMAL SECRETS: Nature’s Lessons for a Long and Happy Life

We need one million more citizens to volunteer for the COVID-19 vaccine trials. Almost half a million Americans have signed up to be part of the clinical trials, but in order to complete the study, the COVID-19 Prevention Network—formed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health—will need more volunteers, and especially more volunteers from diverse backgrounds. The sooner the clinical trials finish accruing patients the sooner we will have results of the vaccine studies.

I am a cancer doctor, but like many doctors and researchers have been called in to assist in any way we can to help the effort to fight COVID-19. We are all seeing too much suffering from this devastating virus. While there are many clinical trials across the country working on treatments for COVID-19 and prevention strategies, few are as important as our national vaccine effort. I teamed with David Ellison, a Hollywood producer, and his amazing team, as well as the incomparable Harrison Ford, to put together a public service announcement to encourage every citizen to consider enrolling in the vaccine trial effort.

To aid in this effort, the COVID-19 Prevention Network sent an email out to those that had already volunteered, asking them why they did it. What they received back was overwhelming: an outpouring of inspirational and emotional videos, each giving a personal reason for becoming part of the trials.

It’s inspiring that we have seen so many Americans come forward to help one another and be part of the solution to COVID-19. But, for the clinical trials to be completed, we need more volunteers. I am not a part of the COVID-19 Prevention Network, but am privileged to play my part to assist them fight this invisible enemy, and I so hope many others do the same.

Please see PreventCOVID.org for more information and to register for the trial.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors.