Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced he is taking part in the Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.
Portman told CNBC on Tuesday that he enrolled in the phase three trial 12 days ago. His remarks came Tuesday on the network’s “Squawk Box.”
“The most important thing we can do right now is get these vaccines out and on the market, and we’ve got to ensure people are actually going to get vaccinated,” he said.
“It’s one thing to have the vaccines, which I think will be ready by the end of this year, so really in just a month and a half, but we’ve got to be sure that people are willing to be vaccinated. So the reason I participated in this trial was because I think the vaccines are so important.
“I want to encourage everyone to participate in the trial, if you’re comfortable doing that, but certainly get the vaccine when it’s available."
Portman said he is not certain whether he has received the vaccine or a placebo in the trial.
“I keep a diary,” he said. “Every Monday and Thursday now I report back as to whether I have symptoms. It’s easy to go through, and again, I encourage people to do it because the more people that participate in the trials, the sooner they can get to the FDA for emergency use authorization and the quicker we can get it out to the American people.”
Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. have both said their experimental vaccines were more than 90% effective. Both are pending more safety data and regulatory reviews.
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