COVID-19 vaccine trial in Colorado led by School of Medicine and UCHealth

Thomas Campbell, MD 300

(October 2020) Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and UCHealth on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus announced in July that they are recruiting qualified patients throughout Colorado for a study testing a promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate. 

The recruitment period will run about two months at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, which is the only hospital in Colorado or this study. 

“Our site here at University of Colorado Hospital is part of a nationwide network called the COVID Prevention Network, which is set up so that it has a cohort of sites that are available to sequentially enroll into multiple vaccine studies,” said Thomas Campbell, MD, an infectious disease physician at the CU School of Medicine and University of Colorado Hospital. “If it works, the Moderna vaccine could be a real game-changer for the pandemic.” 

UCHealth and the CU School of Medicine are recruiting 1,000 patients for the trial, and participants will be monitored for at least a year to determine the vaccine’s safety and whether they contract COVID-19. Patients from throughout Colorado will be invited to participate, though they will have to travel to University of Colorado Hospital for their appointments. 

The emphasis of this vaccine trial is on demonstrating its efficacy in people who are most at-risk for contracting and becoming ill from COVID-19. This includes those who could be vulnerable because of their occupation, such as employees of crowded facilities, health care workers who treat patients with COVID-19, first responders, and those who work in food processing facilities. 

Individuals in higher-risk groups, including Black, Indigenous and Hispanic patients, as well as those with certain health conditions, including those over 65 years old and people suffering from diabetes, obesity, heart disease, lung disease, or chronic kidney disease, will be recruited for the study. Participants in the randomized, observer-blind trial will receive either the vaccine or a placebo. 

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