CMV Vaccine Trial Testimonial
Currently, there is no CMV vaccine available to prevent congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV). CMV vaccines are still in research and development stages, with the hope and expectation that a CMV vaccine will be available in the next 5 to 10 years.
Many experts believe that a CMV vaccine preventing maternal infection would greatly reduce long-term disabilities in infants. The rubella vaccine has eliminated congenital rubella syndrome as a cause of birth defects in countries where the vaccine is administered (eradicated in the United States in 2015), and there is similar hope for a CMV vaccine.
The following Q&A was conducted with Meghan, a CMV advocate who is participating in the Phase 3 CMVictory trial, conducted by Moderna.
What made you decide to participate in a CMV vaccine trial?
I decided to participate in the vaccine trial because my family has been directly impacted by cmv. My niece, Pippa, has congenital CMV and it significantly impacted her development and changed my sister’s life forever. Congenital CMV is a huge issue and I wanted to do what I can to help ensure that the impact of cCMV can be reduced. I also know that without individuals participating in vaccine trials, we would not have many of the scientific medical advancements we have today, so it is very important.
Was it hard to enroll in the trial?
It was extremely easy to enroll. I received a letter in the mail from a pharmacy with a QR code on it. I followed the QR code, answered the questions and they called me the next day to set up my appointment.
What were your initial appointments like?
At my very first appointment they did a quick physical, asked me questions about my medical history, drew blood and did a pregnancy test. The first injection did not happen until my second appointment. At the second appointment I received an injection. I do not know whether I got the vaccine or placebo. Only the researchers will know this, to make sure the trial data is not compromised.
How long will the trial take?
The trial will last a couple of years. For now, I answer questions from the study investigators in an app on my phone. I will go in for my second injection in a couple of months. I will continue to participate by using the app or going in for appointments as needed.
Were you nervous about potentially getting a vaccine that is still under investigation?
I was not nervous to participate, but I would encourage everyone to get all the information before enrolling in a trial. For this CMV vaccine, this is the final phase of the trial, so it has already gone through rigorous testing up to this point. I also knew that this vaccine was the basis for the Moderna mRNA Covid vaccine, which I have previously had. I truly trust these amazing scientists and doctors who have created these vaccines and was happy to do a small part to help.
What is something surprising you have learned so far from participating in this trial?
I learned that I am CMV negative. This was very surprising for me because I am in my late 30s and have worked around children my entire career. I also have 2 young children of my own who were in daycare before they started school.
What would you say to someone considering participation in a vaccine trial?
I would just tell them to get all the information beforehand and to make the best decision for them and their family based on the accurate, scientific data. The team conducting the trial should be able to answer any of their questions.
**The views expressed in this content belong to CMV advocate Meghan, and not Moderna, its affiliates, or employees**
Category: Awareness, Community, "Parent Perspective", Prevention