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UVA Joins National Study of College Students and Moderna Vaccine


Most college students are low on the priority list for vaccination against COVID-19, but UVA is offering them a chance at inoculation and planning to pay each volunteer nearly $600 to take part in a national study. 

Studies of vaccines already on the market show all three provide protection against a serious case of COVID, but do they keep people from getting an asymptomatic case? 

“It’s still possible that they could transmit the infection to others,” says Dr. Eric Houpt, Chief of UVA’s Division of Infectious Diseases.  He’s inviting 600 students to volunteer for a study of Moderna vaccine to answer that question and to see if it affords protection against variants of the coronavirus.  Findings could allow people to finally ditch their masks.

“If this study shows that the vaccine protects against asymptomatic infection and vaccinated individuals don’t transmit the virus to anyone else, then that will give public health authorities the information they need to safely loosen restrictions,” he explains.

Students taking part in the five-month study will receive $590.  In exchange, they’ll have to keep a diary, have their blood drawn several times and be tested for COVID-19 on a daily basis. Only half of the study population will get vaccine at the outset.  The rest will receive it after four months.  

***Editor's Note: The University of Virginia is a financial supporter of Radio IQ.