UCLA leads CDC-funded study of vaccine and booster effectiveness in ‘next phase’ of COVID


Key points to remember:

  • A 2021-2022 study by the same researchers showed that vaccines were highly effective in preventing symptomatic infections in healthcare workers. ​​​​​​
  • The landscape of COVID-19 has now changed, with more breakthrough infections, the emergence of new variants, and the availability of variant-specific reminders.
  • The current study, which will run through 2023, will offer insight into how best to protect health workers – and the public – in this new phase of the pandemic.

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA received a $13.6 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue studying the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and the long-term impact of infection among American healthcare workers.

The new one-year grant project follows the 2020-2021 program Preventing Emerging Infections Through Vaccine Effectiveness Testing study, or PREVENT I, which was among the first to demonstrate the real benefit of mRNA vaccines in the prevention of symptomatic infections following their authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.

PREVENT II, ​​coordinated with the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine, will examine the effectiveness of not only initial vaccinations but also boosters, including those newly authorized for specific viral variants, in a pandemic environment. that has changed significantly over the past year,” said Dr. David Talan, professor of emergency medicine and infectious diseases at the Geffen School and co-lead principal investigator of the study.

“The landscape of the pandemic has changed, with the recognition of vaccine-related waning immunity, the emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 that can evade our host defense systems, recommendations expanded recalls and an increasing number of people who have suffered past infection,” he said. “Understanding how to best protect essential healthcare workers and applying those lessons to protect patients, families and communities remains our top priority.”

The project will recruit 15,000 healthcare workers from academic medical centers across the country, including the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Nicholas Mohr, professor of emergency medicine, anesthesia and epidemiology at the University of Iowa, will lead the research with Talan.

Researchers will study healthcare workers with varying degrees of vaccine and booster protection who get tested for the virus, including after experiencing common COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough, or loss of taste or taste. ‘odour. The study will compare the incidence of positive COVID-19 tests among the groups, as well as the severity and duration of illness among those who test positive. The results will help researchers determine the effectiveness of vaccines and boosters in preventing infection and reducing the impact of infections when they occur.

“We are entering an important next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mohr said. “Studying the experiences of healthcare workers will give us insight into how we can protect both healthcare workers and the general public as the threat of infection and our vaccines, delivery strategies vaccines and therapies are changing.”

Launched in May 2022, PREVENT II is a collaboration between EMERGENCY ID NETWORK — a CDC-backed network established in 1995 and led by Talan that includes 12 U.S. emergency departments and focuses on the study of emerging infectious diseases — and a group of previously assembled sites that worked under COVERED project. The COVERED project was a 20-center, CDC-funded effort that was unique in prospectively assessing the risk for emergency department providers to acquire COVID-19 through direct patient contact, including through high-risk exposures such as endotracheal intubations, and to identify ways to mitigate this. risk.

In addition to Ronald Reagan and the University of Iowa, other medical centers currently participating in PREVENT II are: University of Massachusetts Worcester; University Health Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri; Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia; Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts; Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston; Valleywise Health Medical Center in Phoenix; University of Chicago; LCMC Health in New Orleans; University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital; University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson; University of California, San Francisco, at Fresno; Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami; University of New Mexico at Albuquerque; University of Washington at Seattle; University of Utah in Salt Lake City; Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore; Duke University in Durham, North Carolina; and Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.


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