Clinical Trials

Find resources to help explain what it means to participate in a clinical trial - an important first step for people considering volunteering.

How Clinical Trials Work

The idea for a clinical trial often starts in the lab. After researchers test new treatments or procedures in the lab, the most promising treatments are moved into clinical trials. As new treatments move through a series of steps called phases, more information is gained about the treatment, its risks, and how effective it is.

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3 people

Phase 1: 20 to 100 Healthy Volunteers

Researchers try to answer these questions:

  • Is this vaccine safe?
  • Are there any serious side effects?
  • How does the vaccine dose relate to any side effects?
  • Is the vaccine causing an immune response?

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6 people standing

Phase 2: Several Hundred Volunteers

Researchers try to answer these questions:

  • What are the most common short-term side effects?
  • What’s the body’s immune response?
  • Are there signs that the vaccine is protective?

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lots of people standing

Phase: 3: 1000+ Volunteers

Researchers try to answer these questions:

  • How do disease rates compare between people who get the vaccine and those who do not?
  • How well can the vaccine protect people from disease?

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receiving vaccine

Phase 4: Vaccine Is Approved

  • FDA approves a vaccine only if it's safe, effective, and benefits outweigh the risks.
  • Researchers continue to collect data on the vaccine's long-term benefits and side effects.

Volunteering for a Clinical Trial

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illustration of virus icons in foreground and shield with medical symbol on it in background

Volunteering for a Clinical Trial

Many people aren’t sure if volunteering for a clinical trial is the right decision. A few important facts about how all clinical trial volunteers are protected may help someone make a better decision. Points to consider include:

  • Joining a research study is completely voluntary.
  • All study volunteers go through a process called informed consent before the trial starts to make sure they understand all of the risks and benefits of being in a study.
  • Volunteers may leave a study at any time and for any reason.

Resources

Clinical Trial Resources You Can Share

Infographic

What to expect when you volunteer for a vaccine clinical trial

  • PublisherNIH Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL)
  • LanguageEnglish
  • File TypeJPG
  • File Size1.12MB
Infographic

Summary of different types of clinical studies and why scientists use them

  • PublisherNational Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • LanguageEnglish
  • File TypePDF
  • File Size317KB
Video

Collection of videos from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services on the basics of clinical research

  • PublisherU.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
  • LanguageEnglish
Video

Watch this video to learn about what people should consider before deciding to participate in a clinical trial, including questions to ask the researchers conducting the clinical trial.

  • PublisherNational Library of Medicine (NLM)
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Length01:47
Video

Watch this video to learn about clinical trials, including what kinds of things that clinical trials test, and how scientists make sure that people who volunteer for clinical trials are kept safe.

  • PublisherNational Library of Medicine (NLM)
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Length02:20
Video

Watch this video to learn about the steps that occur once a person decides to enroll in a clinical trial.

  • PublisherNational Library of Medicine (NLM)
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Length01:14
Website

Additional NIH webpages with educational resources on clinical studies

  • PublisherNational Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • LanguageEnglish
Website

NIH resource to find a clinical trial near you

  • PublisherNational Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • LanguageEnglish
Website

Personal stories from volunteers and researchers

  • PublisherNational Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • LanguageEnglish
Infografía

Qué puedes anticipar cuando eres voluntario en un ensayo clínico para combatir el #COVID19.

  • EditorNIH Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL)
  • IdiomaEspañol
  • Tipo de archivoJPG
  • Tamaño del archivo1.12MB
Sitio Web

Información sobre cómo participar en un ensayo clínico y más.

  • EditorNational Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • IdiomaEspañol
Video

Mire este video para conocer lo que las personas deben considerar antes de decidir participar en un ensayo clínico, incluidas las preguntas para los investigadores que realizan el ensayo clínico.

  • EditorNational Library of Medicine (NLM)
  • IdiomaEspañol
  • Duración02:13
Video

La Oficina de Protecciones para la Investigación Humana ("OHRP", en inglés) ha creado estos cortos videos que contienen datos básicos acerca de las investigaciones científicas.

  • EditorU.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • IdiomaEspañol
Video

Mire este video para obtener más información sobre los ensayos clínicos, incluyendo el tipo de cosas que evalúan los ensayos clínicos, y cómo los científicos garantizan que las personas que participan voluntariamente en los ensayos clínicos estén seguras.

  • EditorNational Library of Medicine (NLM)
  • IdiomaEspañol
  • Duración02:50
Video

El siguiente video explica el concepto de la aleatorización en los estudios de investigación.

  • EditorUniversity of New Mexico
  • IdiomaEspañol
  • Duración03:04
Video

Mire este video para conocer los pasos que una persona debe seguir si decide inscribirse en un ensayo clínico.

  • EditorNational Library of Medicine (NLM)
  • IdiomaEspañol
  • Duración01:44

Social Media Messages

Share these social media resources to encourage the spread of accurate information about COVID-19. Copy and paste into your feed.

Face coverings, physical distancing, and quarantining of those infected with coronavirus can help stop the spread. But a safe & effective vaccine is our #BestShot against #COVID19. Learn how enrolling in a clinical trial can help: https://go.usa.gov/xfShb #ConquerCOVID19

You can help science move forward. Clinical trials to find treatments and vaccines for #COVID19 are taking place in your community. Learn more about participating: https://go.usa.gov/xA6K7

To find effective #COVID19 treatments and vaccines, we need adults of all races, ethnicities and gender identities to participate. Can you help? Learn more: https://go.usa.gov/xA6K7

NIH-funded researchers are conducting #COVID19 trials in your community. You can help move science forward. Learn more about participating: https://go.usa.gov/xA6K7

Are you interested in learning about COVID-19 clinical trials? Find information about the benefits and risks, types of studies, and, the processes involved in clinical trials: https://go.usa.gov/xfShb

Help us eliminate COVID-19 in your community. Find answers to basic questions often asked about clinical trial participation: https://go.usa.gov/xfShb

COVID-19 clinical trials will help us find safe and effective ways to treat and prevent COVID-19. Share information about safety protections and providing informed consent with your community: https://go.usa.gov/xfShb

Interested in learning about COVID19 clinical trials? Find information about the benefits & risks, types of studies, & the processes involved in clinical trials: https://go.usa.gov/xfShb #ConquerCOVID19

#COVID19 clinical trials are our #BestShot at preventing COVID-19. Share information about safety protections and providing informed consent with your community: https://go.usa.gov/xfShb

Help us #ConquerCOVID19 in your community. Find answers to basic questions often asked about clinical trials participation: https://www.nih.gov/health-information/nih-clinical-research-trials-you/basics

Curious about how #ClinicalTrials work? Learn about the different stages of clinical studies and find more information on #COVID19 clinical trials: https://go.usa.gov/xfShb #ConquerCOVID19

Curious about how clinical trials work? Learn about the different stages of clinical studies and find more information on COVID-19 Clinical Studies: https://go.usa.gov/xfShb

Will every vaccine trial volunteer receive a COVID-19 vaccine candidate? Find answers to this and other frequently asked questions about COVID-19 clinical trials: https://www.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org/clinical-studies-faq

Do you need to have #COVID19 to participate in a vaccine clinical trial? Find answers to this and other frequently asked questions about #COVID19 clinical trials: https://www.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org/clinical-studies-faq

Does participating in a vaccine clinical trial make you a guinea pig? Find answers to this and other frequently asked questions about #COVID19 clinical trials: https://www.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org/clinical-studies-faq

Para encontrar tratamientos y vacunas efectivos contra el #COVID19, necesitamos que adultos de todas las razas, etnias e identidades de género participen en los ensayos clínicos. ¿Usted puede ayudar? Más información: https://go.usa.gov/xA6h2

Los investigadores financiados por los NIH están realizando ensayos de la vacuna contra #COVID19 en su comunidad. Usted puede ayudar a que la ciencia avance. Obtenga más información sobre la participación: https://covid19community.nih.gov/espanol

¿Está interesado en saber sobre los ensayos clínicos para combatir el COVID-19? Encuentre información sobre los beneficios y riesgos, los tipos de estudios y los procesos involucrados en los ensayos clínicos: https://covid19community.nih.gov/espanol

¿Le interesa saber sobre los ensayos clínicos para combatir el COVID19? Encuentre información sobre los beneficios y riesgos, los tipos de estudios y los procesos involucrados en los ensayos clínicos: https://covid19community.nih.gov/espanol #ConquerCOVID19

¿Tiene curiosidad por saber cómo funcionan los ensayos clínicos? Conozca las diferentes etapas de los estudios clínicos para combatir el COVID19 y encuentre más información: https://covid19community.nih.gov/espanol

¿Tiene curiosidad por saber cómo funcionan los ensayos clínicos? Conozca las diferentes etapas de los estudios clínicos para combatir el #COVID19 y encuentre más información: https://covid19community.nih.gov/espanol #ConquerCOVID19

¿Todos los voluntarios del ensayo clínico para vacunas recibirán una “posible” vacuna contra el COVID-19? Encuentre respuestas a esta y otras preguntas frecuentes sobre los ensayos clínicos del COVID-19: https://espanol.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org/preguntas-frecuentes/

¿Necesita tener el #COVID19 para participar en un ensayo clínico para la vacuna? Encuentre respuestas a esta y otras preguntas frecuentes sobre los ensayos clínicos del COVID19: https://espanol.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org/preguntas-frecuentes/

¿Participar en un ensayo clínico para una vacuna lo convierte en un conejillo de indias? Encuentre respuestas a esta y otras preguntas frecuentes sobre los ensayos clínicos del #COVID19 https://espanol.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org/preguntas-frecuentes/

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