UCLA leads CDC-funded study on effectiveness of vaccines, boosters in ‘next phase’ of COVID

Sept. 15, 2022
Supported by a $13.6 million grant, the project will enroll 15,000 health workers from medical centers across the U.S.

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA has been awarded a $13.6 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue to study the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and the long-term impact of infection among U.S. healthcare workers.

The new yearlong grant project follows the 2020–21 Preventing Emerging Infections Through Vaccine Effectiveness Testing study, or PREVENT I, which was among the first to demonstrate the real-world benefit of mRNA vaccines in preventing symptomatic infection following their authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.

PREVENT II, co-coordinated with the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine, will examine the effectiveness not only of initial vaccinations but of boosters, including those newly authorized for specific virus variants, in a pandemic environment that has changed significantly over the past year, said Dr. David Talan, a professor of emergency medicine and infectious diseases at the Geffen School and co-principal investigator on the study.

The project will enroll 15,000 healthcare personnel at academic medical centers across the country, including Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Nicholas Mohr, a professor of emergency medicine, anesthesia and epidemiology at the University of Iowa, will be leading the research with Talan.

Researchers will study healthcare workers with various degrees of vaccine and booster protection who get tested for the virus, including after experiencing common COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough or a loss of taste or smell. The study will compare the incidence of positive COVID-19 tests among the groups, as well as the severity and duration of illness among those who test positive. The results will help researchers determine how effective the vaccines and boosters are at preventing infection and lessening the impact of infections when they do occur.

UCLA release