UNMC, Children’s Hospital to help test whether COVID vaccines prevent infection, spread | Nebraska News

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‘It stabilized us’ — How the state of Nebraska gave away $1 billion, and who got it Volunteers will be asked to swab their noses daily for COVID infection, complete questionnaires in a diary app and provide periodic blood samples. The swabs, Marcelin said, are nasal swabs with a shallower […]


‘It stabilized us’ — How the state of Nebraska gave away $1 billion, and who got it

Volunteers will be asked to swab their noses daily for COVID infection, complete questionnaires in a diary app and provide periodic blood samples.

The swabs, Marcelin said, are nasal swabs with a shallower reach than the nasopharyngeal swabs used in testing centers. The test, however, is the same one used to analyze samples collected at those centers.

The researchers are focusing on college students because large numbers of infections have been reported on college campuses across the country, often associated with high-density housing. A New York Times survey found that more than 397,000 infections had been counted by December at more than 1,800 universities after they reopened last fall.


Nebraska seeing younger people hospitalized for COVID-19

Dr. Russell McCulloh, chief of the pediatric hospital medical division for UNMC and Children’s, said the fact that young adults often don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 make them a higher risk for transmitting the virus without knowing they have it. McCulloh will lead the local part of the study.

Because the study is intended to test the vaccine’s effectiveness in reducing or preventing spread, the researchers also will invite about 25,000 people identified by participants as “close contacts” to take part in the trial. Those who sign up will be asked to answer weekly questions using the diary app, provide two blood samples and take daily swabs of their noses for two weeks.

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