KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – The Center for Pharmaceutical Research in Kansas City was selected as a clinical research site for one of two COVID-19 vaccine studies.

There will be 40 participants in the first phase of the trial. Billy Hudson is one of them.

“I hope everyone will be able to be immune to this disease, including myself,” Hudson said.

The center is still looking for healthy participants but says those who have volunteered are passionate about prevention.

“People who wouldn’t normally be interested in volunteering are seeing what the world is like when you have a sickness that you don’t have any treatment for and are wanting to step up,” study coordinator Veronica Risinger said.

Doctor John Ervin is leading his team in this research.

“This is, by far, I feel the most important trial that we’ve ever done,” Dr. Ervin said.

The FDA is fast tracking the research. What normally takes years to approve is being done in months.

Dr. Ervin believes in his team’s ability to help.

“There’s no doubt about it. If I could jump in there and get this or have any of my family members do that I would, more than any trial, want them to do that,” Dr. Ervin said.

Ervin says reading headlines from across the world doesn’t wear him down.

“I don’t feel any pressure at all. I feel privileged to be doing this trial,” Dr. Ervin said. “You read about, hear about these 10,000 volunteers going to New York out of retirement to work for free. Gosh! So, there’s that kind of a feeling. When people are doing that, I feel an obligation to do what I can do.”

For Dr. Ervin, that’s putting his experience in more than 100 vaccine trials to good use.

The 40 total participants for this study will be split between the Center for Pharmaceutical Research in Kansas City and a study site in Philadelphia.

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