Stony Brook University (SBU) students, along with 20 universities in the US, are part of the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) study which will analyse whether Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine can prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Named ‘PreventCOVIDU’, the study on select university campuses will analyse both initial infection and transmission in the university and is managed by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
The study will enrol a total of 12,000 students in the near future, with half of them receiving the vaccine upon enrolment, while the other half will be given the shot four months later.
Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases chief and SBU trial’s principal investigator Sharon Nachman said: “It’s critical to understand how effective the vaccine is in preventing spread of infection in this population.
“We need to understand how often individuals in this age group become positive, what is the level of virus in their nose and how often they pass virus to others.”
The SBU arm of the trial plans to enrol 400 students aged 18 to 26.
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A computerised process is activated to randomly choose the immediate vaccination group or delayed (four months later) group participants.
The study’s delayed arm is needed to enable researchers tell how well the vaccine works in preventing infection and transmission to vaccinated people compared to those who are not yet vaccinated.
In a separate development, Akers Biosciences’ proposed merger partner MyMD Pharmaceuticals has entered into an agreement with a major medical school to carry out a Phase II clinical trial of MYMD-1 for treating immune-mediated depression in Covid-19 patients.
Akers Biosciences’ noted that MYMD-1 is the first drug being developed for treating age-related diseases and ageing itself.
According to a finding, 52% of individuals who had Covid-19 had an associated moderate to severe Major Depressive Disorder.
The study, which will begin in the second quarter of this year, will assess the pro-inflammatory cytokines linked to the cytokine storm.