LOS ANGELES (CNS) - UCLA received a $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines among health care workers, the university announced today.
Researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine will spend a year studying both vaccinated and non-vaccinated health care workers from 16 medical centers who get tested for the virus after experiencing common COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough or a loss of sense of taste or smell.
The research will compare the incidence of positive COVID-19 tests within both groups, as well as the severity of the illness in those who test positive.
Results are expected to help determine how effective the vaccines are at both preventing infection and lessening the impact of the virus when infection does occur. An estimated 10,000 people, including health care personnel at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, are expected to enroll in the study, which will be conducted with the University of Iowa's Carver College of Medicine.
Dr. David Talan, a professor of emergency medicine and infectious diseases at UCLA, said he feels an obligation to learn more about the vaccines.
"Health care workers all across the world have stepped up to meet the overwhelming needs of patients, families and communities during the pandemic," he said. "We have an obligation to learn as much as we can about the vaccines' effectiveness and safety."
Though participants will be recruited solely from medical centers, the findings should help everyone, said Dr. Nicholas Mohr, a professor of emergency medicine, anesthesia and epidemiology at the University of Iowa.
"Studying the experiences of health care personnel will give us insights into how we can protect both health care workers and the general public," Mohr said.
Olive View-UCLA health care personnel who have been tested for COVID-19 and are interested in taking part can take a survey at https://www.ctrc.medsch.ucla.edu/redcap/surveys/?s=3JND7PKFYX.
Medical centers at UC San Francisco and UC Fresno are among those in the participating network, which includes facilities ranging from Miami to Seattle.
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