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Residents invited to take part in clinical trial for first RSV vaccine for older adults.

Dr. Ben Marcum

Dr. Ben Marcum with Stephenville Medical & Surgical Clinic is involved in a research trial to study what could become the first vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) to be administered to people over the age of 65.

RSV is a common virus that mimics a cold, but it can cause severe infection in older adults with weakened immune systems.

Each year 177,000 individuals 65 and older are hospitalized with RSV.

Privia Health and Javara have partnered on the research and are seeking Stephenville residents interested in taking part in the study.

“This is the first time in Stephenville that we have had access to clinical trials on this scale, and it’s an opportunity to be on the leading edge of scientific advancement close to home,” Dr. Marcum told Beneath the Surface News.

The vaccine has already passed the safety trial and is now in phase 3, which evaluates the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing RSV and reducing hospitalizations for older adults with RSV.

The study is already underway, but more people are needed.


Anyone 60 and older can be screened for testing. Those suffering from lung disease or autoimmune disease cannot take part in the study.

Participants will be injected with either a placebo or vaccine, then monitored for more than a year.

“Any time they get sick we ask them to come in for an unscheduled visit to test for RSV,” Dr. Marcum said.


If you are interested in taking part in this paid clinical trial, contact the Javara team at SMSC by calling 254-227-5686.

Dr. Marcum is a primary investigator with Javara and is working on three other clinical trials on blood pressure, cholesterol and an oral contraceptive that has already been approved in Europe.

“We are actively recruiting for those studies as well,” Dr. Marcum said. “Anyone who is interested can call the Javara team and tell them which study they are interested in and they will get connected.”


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