CU Boulder Is Part Of A New Study Looking Into Transmission Of COVID After Being Vaccinated

With so many people now being vaccinated research has begun to see if those who are fully vaccinated can still spread the coronavirus.

Video Transcript

- Well, there are some good news. More and more Coloradans are getting their vaccines. More than 1 and 1/2 million people have received one COVID shot. Almost a million Coloradans are fully vaccinated as of today. Just about 2.5 million doses have been administered so far. Now, as we move a little bit closer to what we want to get to, which is herd immunity, that means about 70% of the population needs to be vaccinated.

There's still a question that remains. And that question has to do with, even if you get that vaccine, are you still able to pass on COVID to those people around you? Well, Conor McCue spoke to some researchers as CU Boulder today trying to get an answer to that question for us. So, Conor, what did you find out?

CONOR MCCUE: Well, Karen, thousands of Coloradans are getting vaccinated every single day at sites all around the state, including right here at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. What we know right now is these people who get their shots today will be protected against the most severe cases of COVID. But that new trial at CU Boulder will now look to find out whether they can or cannot spread it after getting the vaccine.

CHRIS DESOUZA: You may not get sick. But then the question is, can you then pass that virus on to someone else who has not been vaccinated?

CONOR MCCUE: For the next five months, that question will be the focus of a new nationwide trial involving the Moderna vaccine led by the COVID-19 Prevention Network. 20 universities will take part, including CU Boulder.

CHRIS DESOUZA: This will be highly applicable, we believe, to other mRNA-based vaccines, such as the Pfizer vaccine.

CONOR MCCUE: Professor Chris DeSouza is co-director of the CU study, which started last Thursday. The goal is to enroll at least 700 students. Olivia Parsons is one of them.

OLIVIA PARSONS: Being fortunate enough to even have this opportunity, I feel like I couldn't pass it up. Because it's impacted so many people me that it just feels right.

CONOR MCCUE: DeSouza says students will get tested twice a week and swab their nostrils every day. If someone tests positive, their close contacts will also be monitored.

CHRIS DESOUZA: If an infection occurs, we can study the kinetics of when that infection occurred and how long it is residing in their nasal passages.

CONOR MCCUE: The study is expected to wrap up this fall or early winter. Its findings could influence decisions on campus and around the country.

CHRIS DESOUZA: The students so far who have enrolled in the study want to be a part of the solution. They want to make a contribution towards providing this type of information.

- Yay!

CONOR MCCUE: Now, D'Souza says 1,000 students, about 1,000 students, have expressed interest in taking part in this trial so far. And in case anyone is wondering, this will not take away vaccines from sites like this one around the state. Each dose is specifically earmarked for research. Live tonight in Commerce City, Conor McCue covering Colorado first.