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Stony Brook University students joining study of Moderna vaccine effectiveness

Alana Gill, a freshman at Stony Brook University,

Alana Gill, a freshman at Stony Brook University, was among students who received a first dose of Moderna during a campus vaccination event on April 6. Credit: Newsday / Raychel Brightman

Stony Brook University said it has joined a national study involving more than 20 university campuses to see how effective the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is against spreading the virus.

Stony Brook said it hopes to have as many as 400 students enroll in the study, which plans to enlist 12,000 students across the United States.

Students from other universities can also enroll in the study through Stony Brook University.

"Our college kids are our busiest population, because they're always coming and going in their daily lives," said Dr. Sharon Nachman, principal investigator of the Stony Brook arm of the study and chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

"We will know how often individuals in this age group become positive, what is the level of virus and how long are they infectious? They're getting their nose swabbed every day, so we will know," she said.

Nachman added that the study will help the medical community better understand how patients respond to the disease and improve practices "regarding ways to stop the spread and return to normalcy, such as for schooling, jobs and social activities."

She added that 40 students have so far joined the study.

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NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island is also speaking to regional colleges and universities to sign up 100 students to participate, said Dr. Steven Carsons, director of the vaccine center at the Mineola hospital.

The study is being conducted by the COVID-19 Prevention Network, which was formed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the U.S. National Institutes of Health to conduct phase three efficacy trials for COVID-19 vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, which are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the body's immune system's ability to fight pathogens. The study, called PreventCovidU, is being managed by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

In phase three trials, which involve thousands of patients, some get the test treatment while others get traditional care. In this case, half the students will receive the vaccine upon enrollment, and the other half will receive it four months later.

The delayed vaccinations are needed to monitor how effective the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is in preventing infection and transmission to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Students who participate will have to swab their noses daily for about four months and provide three blood samples for the duration of the study. Participants are compensated, though the amount varies based on time spent and where the student lives, according to the clinical trial's website.

To participate, students must be between 18 and 26 years of age. Those already vaccinated are excluded from the trial.

COVID TRIAL FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

  • The study is being conducted by the COVID-19 Prevention Network, which was formed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
  • Stony Brook University said it hopes to enroll as many as 400 students.
  • For more information on eligibility requirements, visit the study's website at https://preventcovidu.org/the-study.

SOURCE: Stony Brook University, PreventCOVID.org.

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