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5 Facts to Help You Outsmart the Flu This Season

Falling leaves, happy holidays, and cooler weather are on the way, along with less pleasant things, like cold and flu season. We’ve compiled five facts to help you get to know our unwelcome yearly visitor: influenza. 1: The Six Foot Sneeze While you can get the flu by touching a contaminated surface, the flu usually spreads through the air. Most people get the flu by ingesting or inhaling droplets from an infected person that sneezed, coughed, or talked within about six feet of them. As with the spread … Read more

What’s the Difference Between Active, Inactive, mRNA, and Other Types of Vaccines?

Our clinical staff is often asked by participants whether or not vaccines can cause the infections they’re supposed to prevent. Or, put another way, “Is this a live vaccine?” This has been especially true for our COVID-19, influenza, anthrax, and Zika virus studies. The answer is almost always no; vaccines generally cannot cause the illnesses they’re intended to prevent. Vaccines work by exposing you to a small and safe amount of weakened, dead, inactive, or biosynthetic bacteria or viruses. This prompts your immune system to recognize the pathogen … Read more

Understanding Placebos in Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are intended to test the safety and effectiveness on investigational therapies. So why are placebos used, particularly in vaccine trials? Placebos are particularly useful for helping researchers assess safety, efficacy, and actual side effects among control and treatment groups. What is a placebo though? Placeboes are inactive pills, injections, or procedures that have no effect on humans. Placebos are commonly called ‘sugar pills’ or ‘saline shots’. Placebos are used in some clinical trials to help researchers determine if an investigational therapy is effective. In a placebo-controlled … Read more

Can I Get Paid for Participating in a Clinical Trial?

“Can I get paid for participating in a research study?” This is the most common question people ask Meridian online when considering signing up for a clinical trial. The answer is yes, you can get paid for study-related time and travel for participating in most clinical trials. While not all research studies pay participants, most clinical trials at Meridian pay from $75 to $4,500. To get a better idea of what a specific trial might pay, keep reading. How Pay is Determined in Clinical Research Trials Almost every study offers … Read more

Checklist: Questions to Ask Before Joining a Clinical Trial

Participating in a study is an important decision, and you should be comfortable with your decision. Each study is different, but the informed consent process ensures you understand what will happen. You’ll learn about the product being studied, your role in the trial, potential side effects, and the visits required. You can ask the following questions to make a more informed decision about joining. What is the goal of this study? How will the medicine, medical device, or test be given to me? How many times will I … Read more

What is a Clinical Trial?

Clinical trials are research studies of medications, vaccines, medical devices, procedures, and diagnostics (tests). These studies involve people (a.k.a., participants), and are meant to determine whether certain experimental products are safer and/or more effective than currently approved products.  Without clinical trials, it would be impossible to develop new medicines, cures, vaccines, and other medical products.  Examples of products for which clinical trials are conducted include:  Vaccines: Influenza, Ebola, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Medications: Topical creams for eczema, oral tablets or injections for multiple sclerosis, liquid cough/cold medications for children  Medical … Read more