Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanGOP shows limited appetite for pursuing Biden probes Profiles in cowardice: Trump’s Senate enablers We need a (common) ‘sense of the Senate’ resolution on transition planning MORE (R-Ohio), a highly regarded policymaker in the Senate Republican Conference, announced Tuesday that he has enrolled in a phase 3 trial for the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Janssen-Johnson & Johnson and being administered at a research center in Cincinnati.

Portman said he decided to enroll in the trial himself after being briefed by CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services, which is managing it at its Cincinnati research center.

“I look at it as a way I can play a small role in supporting our country’s health care response to this pandemic. The more people Johnson & Johnson has in the trial, the sooner they can have the complete data they need to finalize this phase of the trial and move on to the FDA approval process,” Portman said in a statement.


The GOP senator’s announcement comes a day after Moderna announced it had developed a coronavirus vaccine that was 94.5 percent effective.

Pfizer announced the development of its own COVID-19 vaccine with a 90 percent effective rate on Nov. 9.

Both companies are applying for emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and plan to vaccinate as many as 20 million people by the end of the year.  

“Once vaccines are authorized by the FDA and are made widely available, Ohioans and all Americans will be safer. When this happens, people will feel more comfortable returning to the workplace, retail establishments, restaurants, places of worship, and schools, as well as gathering with family and friends,” Portman said.

Portman said he hoped his participation in the trial will make other people feel more confident about participating in vaccine trials and reassure the public about the safety of vaccines once they are approved by the FDA. 

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