MU researchers to conduct COVID vaccine study

Lake Sun Leader

COLUMBIA, Mo. (July 14, 2021) ― Researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine want to find out how long protection provided by the COVID-19 vaccines will last and how vaccination immunity differs from natural infection immunity.

Mark Daniels, PhD, an associate professor of surgery and molecular microbiology and immunology, is the principal investigator of the study. He hopes to enroll 500 people who have either received a COVID-19 vaccination or who plan to become vaccinated soon. Daniels will analyze the presence of antibodies in the blood to study both the nature of the antibody response and the cellular immune response.

“Differences in antibody prevalence and immune cell memory vastly differ among members of a population,” Daniels said. “Some of the well-documented factors that cause these differences are demographics like age, sex or race, socioeconomic factors, preexisting conditions and other health issues. Given the recent outbreaks of mutant strains of virus across the world, we expect these findings will help determine the most effective vaccine to deploy as we continue to fight this pandemic.”

Daniels and his team hope to answer important questions about the efficacy and longevity of the protection currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide.

“Given the growing body of evidence that antibody-based immunity is short-lived in patients that have been infected with the virus, we want to learn how response to vaccination differs from individuals who have experienced natural infection,” Daniels said.

Those eligible and interested in participating should email mucovid19vaccinestudy@missouri.edu. Participants will receive a gift card as compensation for their assistance.

For more information regarding COVID-19, visit muhealth.org/coronavirus.