MultiCare Inland Northwest Virtual Townhall - March 3

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

SPOKANE, Wash. — MultiCare Health System announced today it has been selected to bring a COVID-19 vaccine phase three clinical trial to the Inland Northwest. Beginning this weekend, residents can volunteer for the Novavax clinical trial.

MultiCare’s Institute for Research and Innovation — which conducts both clinical trials and outcomes-based research with MultiCare-employed physicians, as well as physicians practicing independently in the community — will join over 100 clinics and hospitals around the country participating in this Novavax trial. The Institute hopes to enroll 300 participants in the clinical trial at the MultiCare Rockwood Clinic in Cheney, Wash.


The clinical trial will evaluate a vaccine that has shown promising results for increasing the body’s immune response to the COVID-19 virus.


“Finding effective vaccines is an essential strategy to stopping the spread of COVID-19,” says Dr. Jonathan Staben, the trial’s principal investigator and a Spokane primary care physician at MultiCare Rockwood Clinic. “As a community-based research center, we are delighted to be able to bring this phase three clinical trial opportunity to the Spokane region as the valuable research insights from this study will help inform next steps for this vaccine.”


MultiCare’s Institute for Research and Innovation wants to enroll a diverse group of participants, including people 65 and older, people with underlying medical conditions, and people from racial and ethnic groups disproportionately affected by the pandemic, including African Americans, Latinx community members, Asian Americans, Native Americans and Alaska Natives.


Two out of three people participating in the trial will receive two intramuscular injections of the vaccine spaced three weeks apart. The vaccine is designed to create neutralizing antibodies to fight COVID-19 infection. The remaining one-third of participants will receive injections of a placebo made of saline (sterile salt water) solution.


Participants will be randomly selected to receive the vaccine or placebo. Participants’ health and safety will be monitored for 24 months afterward.


MultiCare doctors and researchers will hold a virtual town hall where people can ask questions and learn more. Open to the public, the online event will start at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 12, 2021. People can register for the event here.


MultiCare has been involved with clinical research studies for over 35 years, initially focusing on the area of oncology. Over time, the research program expanded into a portfolio of Phase I – IV clinical studies spanning a diverse base of diseases and medical conditions. The MultiCare Institute for Research & Innovation, formed in 2010, has gathered all of the research efforts in MultiCare’s health care system into a single program. The Institute participate in research through a number of mechanisms including federal, industry and investigator-initiated studies.


More information on the Novavax clinical trial MultiCare is bringing to the region can be found at