Scientists launch a huge study to answer the question: Can people who have been vaccinated spread “Covid-19”?

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The “Washington Post” newspaper reported that a federally funded study conducted at 21 campuses will test how well the “Covid-19” vaccine from Moderna is in preventing vaccinators from spreading the coronavirus.

Clinical trials showed that the Moderna vaccine is more than 94% effective in preventing “Covid-19” disease, and that the vaccine specifically protects against severe disease, hospitalization and death from the virus.

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However, the clinical trials have not been designed to answer an important question: Can people who have been vaccinated carry the coronavirus in their noses and mouths and inadvertently spread it to others?

Realistic studies in Israel and the United Kingdom indicated that the “Covid-19” vaccines reduce the risk of infection with symptoms or without symptoms (those who do not have any external signs of the disease).

Both studies focused on Pfizer and AstraZeneca, respectively. Another study of 4,000 health care workers and primary workers in the United States provided additional evidence that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines protect against all infections, including those without symptoms, Stat News reported.

And while these studies provide evidence that vaccinated people may be less likely to spread the virus, because they generally seem to avoid infection, they cannot confirm this conclusively. The new study, called PreventCOVIDU, will try to answer the question directly through contact tracing, as Covid-19 infection is tracked between people who have been vaccinated, people who are not vaccinated, and a large group of close contacts with them.

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Tracking whether and how the infection is spreading through this large group of people and how it spreads should help reveal the number of times vaccinated people transmit the virus to those around them, regardless of whether the vaccinated person is sick.

PreventCOVIDU will include about 12,000 university students between the ages of 18 and 26, according to the study’s website.

The students will be randomly divided into two groups, so that half of them will receive their first dose of Moderna vaccine immediately, while the other half will be vaccinated after four months. The entire trial will take place over a period of five months.

All participants will take daily nasal swabs throughout the experiment, so that the study organizers can track when the “Covid-19” infection occurred. The swabs will also help them calculate the amount of viral particles in the nose of each infected person and the genetic sequence of the virus they contracted.

These data points will also help determine whether the viral load, the amount of virus in a person’s system, is related to the risk of transmission.

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They will also explain whether the Moderna vaccine provides different levels of protection against different strains of the virus and whether vaccinated people are more likely to spread certain strains to others.

The mobile app will remind participants to wipe their noses daily. They will also complete daily questionnaires about their symptoms, provide blood samples at several points in the study and undergo routine checks for “Covid-19” through their university testing systems.

The main participants in the study will also identify a group of close contacts with them, that is, people who are likely to be at risk of contracting “Covid-19” if university students test positive for the virus.

In total, the organizers of the trial hope to collect data from 25,500 close people. (Both key participants and their close acquaintances will be compensated for their participation in the study.)

The results of this study are expected to be revealed “later this year,” according to the research team.

Source: Live Science





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