Recruiting volunteers for placebo-controlled clinical trials of next-generation COVID-19 vaccines has been rendered nearly impossible by the regulatory approval of several vaccines, and some volunteers in ongoing trials have already asked to drop out. Researchers are designing other ways to prove efficacy, such as by splitting cohorts so that twice as many participants receive the vaccine as the placebo, using an approved vaccine as the control or measuring immunity biomarkers to judge efficacy, but all have drawbacks.
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