Doctor running Tucson COVID-19 vaccine trial calls it most important research of his career

Posted at 8:25 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 15:45:54-04

TUCSON, Ariz.  — In two weeks, a Tucson clinic will begin a promising COVID-19 vaccine trial. KGUN 9 was first to report that Quality of Life Medical and Research Center was taking part in the national study.

A vaccine will go a long way in helping the country rebound from the pandemic.

Now, there are more details on how Tucsonans can take part in Moderna's vaccine trial from the doctor overseeing the local portion of the study.

"When I found out I got to do this study, with what's going on in the world, it's something I obviously wanted to a part of," said Dr. Jack McGettigan.

He calls this COVID-19 vaccine trial the most important moment of his research career.

McGettigan is the owner of Quality of Life Medical and Research Center. He is also the principal investigator for the Tucson portion of Moderna's Phase 3 Vaccine Trial.

QLMC is one of 87 clinics nationwide taking part in the study.

When the trial begins the week of July 27, McGettigan plans to focus on participants on the front lines.

"They're dealing with these people with the diagnosis everyday. They're putting their life on the line," said the former emergency room physician.

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine has shown promise in the two initial trials. The vaccine is being developed to prevent COVID-19 by producing antibodies to the virus.

Dr. McGettigan hopes to sign up as many as 1,000 participants in Tucson. He's inviting some of the hardest hit parts of our community to take part.

"Some of the minority groups, I know our Native Americans have been really hit hard. We would love to reach out to them if they're interested and willing to participate."

To sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine trial here in Tucson, you're asked to email

Meantime, McGettigan is ready to get this study underway and take part in an historic moment in vaccine research.

"This has been moving at warp speed. Being in the world of research, I've never seen anything move at the speed this study is moving."