We’ve gathered some frequently asked questions from participants here.

Why should I join a clinical trial? How can I benefit from participating?

Participating in a clinical trial contributes to global efforts to find new treatments or ways to prevent COVID-19.

By joining our participant database, you will help researchers to get these treatments to the people who need them most. If you are a current COVID-19 patient, you may also be able to access treatments that may not be otherwise available to you. You may help yourself, your friends and family, your neighbours or total strangers.

Is it safe to be in a clinical trial? What are the risks? What protects me during participation?

Participating in a clinical trial may entail some risk. All clinical trials are required to pass ethical review criteria to be approved. Risks are different for each trial. You will learn about these risks during the enrolment process.

If I join a clinical trial, what should I expect? What is involved?

If you are eligible for a clinical trial, you will be connected to the clinical trial coordinator. This person will then explain the steps to you along the way. Depending on which clinical trial you are selected for, these steps may include assessments, questionnaires, phone calls, or visits. You might also receive a treatment, such as a pill or injection, or be required to have your blood drawn.

How long does a clinical trial take? What’s the time commitment?

Active testing phases vary by length depending on the trials’s requirements. Your participation may take days, weeks or months to complete. If you are matched to a clinical trial, the clinical trial coordinator will explain the trial’s requirements and time commitments to you in detail.

Who will use the information that is collected about me?

Clinical trials have very strict rules about who can access the information they collect and when. Your identity is always protected and your name and contact details will never be released with the study’s data, unless required by law. You will receive more details about who will have access to your information before deciding to join a clinical trial. Be sure to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable about your participation.

How will I know if I’m eligible for a clinical trial? When will I be told?

Current trials are looking for people who:

  • Are convalescing at home with COVID-19
  • Are hospitalized with COVID-19
  • Have recovered from the illness
  • Have been exposed to someone with COVID-19
  • Are willing to participate in a control group (do not have COVID-19)

If you match a trial, you will be contacted by the clinical trial to invite you to participate.

I have a pre-existing medical condition. Can I participate? How will participating affect my condition?

You can still participate in a clinical trial. Please make sure you clearly list your conditions in the registration form. Each clinical trial has its specific conditions and we will make sure you’re matched with a trial that is most suitable for you.

If I’m enrolled, what should I tell my doctor? Should I still see my doctor?

If you are eligible for a particular trial, you will get more information about it during the enrolment process. This information should be shared with your doctor. You should still be seen by your usual doctor or care providers while participating in the trial, but you will also receive attention from the clinical trials team on a regular basis during the trial.

Can I leave or withdraw from a clinical trial? What if I’ve already joined?

You can always leave a trial at any time without penalty. Doing so is completely your decision. Leaving will not affect the other medical care that you receive from your doctor or other care providers.

Will I be told the results of the clinical trial if I participate? If so, when should I expect to know? What will I be told?

Timelines for your participation and the publication of the trial’s results vary by trial. Your participation may last a few weeks or months, but some clinical trials take years to complete. You can ask the clinical trial team for their timeline for results. Sometimes, you can also find the results published online once the trial concludes (e.g., on a site like www.clinicaltrials.gov).

What happens if I experience side effects during a clinical trial? What happens if they’re severe?

If you experience any side effects while participating in a trial, you should immediately contact the clinical trial coordinator. Their contact information will be shared with you the moment you are invited to participate.

My friend joined one of the clinical trials listed on your site. Can I join, too?

Clinical trial requirements vary from trial to trial. You and your friend are different people with different medical histories. The best way to see if you are also eligible to participate is to sign-up through Covids Trials Canada and be matched.

You can also contact the investigation team directly or visit the trial’s listing for more information.

Is there a fee or cost to participate?

The treatment and assessments provided during a clinical trial are usually free. However, you may incur costs for travel to and from the clinical site or for parking, childcare, or lost income due to time away from work. The clinical trial coordinator will tell you about the costs, schedule, and locations of the clinical trial before you decide if you want to participate.

Will I know what treatment I’m getting? How will I know if it’s working?

Your experience will depend on the trial in which you participate. Once you’re matched to a specific trial, you’ll be contacted by the clinical trial coordinator. This person will inform you about what kind of treatment you will be given, as well as how it works and any potential side effects.

Who should I talk to for more information?

For more information about the participation selection process in general, you can contact our team by emailing patients@covidtrials.ca. Someone will respond to you within 48 business hours.