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Texas A&M participates in study to see if vaccinated people can spread COVID-19

Texas A&M is the only university in Texas that has been chosen to participate in a nationwide coronavirus vaccination study.

BRYAN, Texas — Texas A&M is the only university in Texas that has been chosen to participate in a nationwide coronavirus vaccination study. 

The university is in search of one thousand students to participate in a coronavirus study that will study how people can be infected with and spread COVID-19 after they are vaccinated. 

“What this study does is it tells you more details. So these students who get into the study are going to tell us about the symptoms they have. They’re actually going to do daily swabs, so we’ll know the viral load," Texas A&M School of Public Health's Dr. Marcia Ory said. "So it’s not just knowing that you can transmit, but it's understanding how the vaccine on a daily basis for four months relates to your viral load and how that viral load relates to transmission.” 

This fourth month study will require students to swab their nose daily, complete questionnaires, and provide blood samples. If the students test positive for coronavirus, there will be additional procedures.

“Students will be randomized to either get immediate vaccinations or delayed vaccinations for four months. And that’s one of the things that we want to know is how long will those antibodies last.” said Dr. Ory.

Dr. Ory said students should not look at this experiment as a way for them to get the vaccine, but instead, the university is looking for students who want to help further the understanding of how the vaccine works. Participants will receive the Modern COVID-19 vaccine. They could receive up to $1000 for partaking in this study.

“It brings together the best of clinical medicine, public health, pharmacy all together. That’s what the unique opportunity is, we’ll learn things that we don’t know already by having much more detailed information on an age group that we know very little about,” Dr. Ory said.

She emphasized that this is a natural experiment and students will be monitored as they continue with their daily routines. 

The research team is hoping to start the study next week once they have all the needed participants. To sign up, visit here.