Cleveland VA Medical Center Begins Local Enrollment for Pfizer & BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine - VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System
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Cleveland VA Medical Center Begins Local Enrollment for Pfizer & BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

August 28, 2020

Dr. Curtis Donskey, Chief of Infection Control will lead the Cleveland VA’s study program with Margaret Tiktin, DNP, Clinical Research Center Director, and Dr. Federico Perez, Infectious Disease

 CLEVELAND – The Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center today announced plans to participate as a study site for, and begin enrolling participants into, the Phase 2/3 global study sponsored by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE of an investigational vaccine, BNT162b2, against SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the current global pandemic. Cleveland VA’s study site is one of more than 120 clinical investigational sites around the world that will collectively enroll up to 30,000 participants.

Study participation priority will be given to Veterans whether enrolled in VA care or not.  The study is looking for non-pregnant, healthy adults who are ages 18-85 and are at risk for contracting COVID-19.   

“The Cleveland VA Medical Center was chosen as the only VA to participate in this study because of proven success incorporating Veterans into vaccine trials supported by a strong clinical research program,” said Dr. Curtis Donskey.  “We feel it’s important to ensure our Veteran population is represented in this critical effort.  VA provides care for many Veterans with chronic conditions that put them at a higher risk for severe outcomes due to COVID-19.”

“The integration of our research efforts into clinical operations enhances our ability to provide world class care to our Veterans and creates opportunities to provide prevention programs for our nation’s heroes, especially now during this global pandemic,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Cmolik, FACS

About the Phase 2/3 Study

An equal number of participants will get the vaccine and placebo during the Phase 2/3 trial.  The goal is to collect data on safety and immune response of the vaccine as well as data on efficacy and prevention of COVID-19. 

People interested in participating in the study through the Cleveland VA Medical Center can call 216-791-3800 ext. 65273. 

Once the study cap is reached, VA will track interested participants for a potential future study. 


See related opinion piece from VA Secretary Robert Wilkie here.

Contact – Kristen Parker - 216-301-9462 /  


About Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

The Cleveland VA Medical Center is the hub of VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System, providing and coordinating primary, acute and specialty care. Focusing on treating the whole Veteran through health promotion and disease prevention, VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System delivers comprehensive, seamless health care and social services for more than 112,000 Veterans at 18 locations across Northeast Ohio. VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System contributes to the future of medicine through education, training and research programs. For more information visit