HealthPartners is recruiting patients again for a clinical trial of AstraZeneca's experimental vaccine for COVID-19.
The Bloomington-based health care provider had received rapid interest from Minnesotans until the trial was paused worldwide last month due to a female participant in England suffering a spinal inflammatory disorder.
Subsequent review by government and company safety officials prompted the trial to resume in Europe within a week, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration didn't give its OK until this week.
"We're starting to see participants again," HealthPartners spokesman David Martinson said on Wednesday. "Our first rescheduled patients will be enrolled today."
Several manufacturers have advanced COVID-19 vaccine candidates to safety and effectiveness trials, but local enrollment is only occurring right now in the AstraZeneca trial. Allina Health in Minneapolis is slated for participation in a trial of a Janssen vaccine candidate, according to the federal ClinicalTrials.gov website.
HealthPartners enrolled 28 people in its vaccine trial and had another 800 appointments with prospective candidates scheduled when it was paused Sept. 6.
Problems with automated scheduling led to some people not receiving cancellation notices and showing up for appointments. Martinson said HealthPartners has taken over scheduling to avoid confusion and is reaching out to those with canceled appointments.
The trial is targeting people who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, including people in high-risk occupations who will be more likely to be exposed to the virus and demonstrate whether the vaccine works.
Jeremy Olson • 612-673-7744