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Walter Reed Army Institute of Research seeks non-military volunteers for a new experimental COVID-19 vaccine

April 8, 2021

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is seeking 72 volunteers for inoculation of a new investigational COVID-19 vaccine at its Silver Spring, Maryland Clincal Trials Center (CTC) site.  Paul Scott, MD, MPH is the principal investigator. The study started on April 5, 2021.  The new vaccine is constructed from ferritin nanoparticles to which the spike protein from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is attached.  The vaccine is called the spike ferritin nanoparticle (SpFN) COVID vaccine and carries the FDA determined investigational new drug identifier IND 27301.   The study has the WRAIR research number 2847, which is registered as a study with as NCT04784767.

The phone contact is 866-428-2788.

Email contact is:

There are many criteria that need to be met to participate.  These conditions are outlined at the above CTC website.   The key criteria are that non-military participants need to be male or female (not pregnant or breastfeeding), aged 18-55, without autoimmune disease or diabetes and testing negative for COVID.  An individual needs to be available to the CTC in Silver Spring for 12 months after inoculation of two study vaccine doses. Those who have not had a prior COVID vaccine are only eligible to participate.

Why does the military need non-military volunteers?  Service members are not permitted to participate as they are an ethically protected group, because they do not have autonomy. 

Why does the military need another vaccine other than the ones currently available to the public?  The military is concerned about service members who may be deployed in the future to areas where a new coronavirus or virus strain has emerged.  The current vaccines may offer no protection in those circumstances.  The SpFN COVID vaccine can be more easily manipulated to accommodate any such new coronavirus to achieve the required protection.  The military needs to maintain a posture of readiness should deployments occur to an area with an emerging infecxtious disease. 

This notice is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation by  Any study participation is based on the decision between the participant, his or her physician, and the principal investigator.  Any unintended consequences from participation is solely the responsibility of the aforementioned parties. makes no recommendation for an individual to participate. 

There are some interesting videos which show the CTC and an interview with the first participant.  They can be found at:

Tour of the CTC:

First Participant Interview:

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