Sumary of Brown researchers receive $4.9 million to study COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in older adults:
- To address the pressing issue of diminishing immunity among older adults to COVID-19 as well to vaccines designed to protect against the virus, a $4.9 million award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will fund a two-year project led by Brown University researchers and conducted by a team spanning multiple institutions.
- The researchers will examine the duration of protective immunity in the context of emerging strains of COVID-19, releasing interim data to the CDC as it becomes available to inform policy decisions in real time.
- The project is based at Brown’s Center for Long-Term Care Quality and Innovation, which focuses on research to improve care and quality of life for older adults living in nursing homes.
- The new award builds on previous research about protective immunity over time conducted by Gravenstein and Canady.
- For that study, the research team studied blood samples of 120 nursing home residents and 92 health care workers.
- The researchers, including a lab team at Harvard University, found that individuals’ antibody levels decreased more than 80% after six months;
- After presenting their unpublished results directly to senior staff at the CDC, the researchers were urged to get the data out in the public domain as soon as possible to inform the decision-making process for booster vaccine recommendations.
- As a result, the researchers published the findings as a preliminary report ahead of peer review on medRxiv, an online preprint server for health sciences studies co-founded by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Yale University and the BMJ, a global healthcare knowledge provider.