(Photo by Ricardo Ceppi/Getty Images)
(CNSNews.com) – Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday announced the start of a new clinical trial to find out if people inoculated with the Moderna vaccine can transmit COVID-19 to their close contacts.
The point of the study is find out, in a “science-based” way, if masks and social distancing should be continued following vaccination.
“This is a question of extreme importance,” Fauci said.
“So we hope that within the next five or so months, we’ll be able to answer the very important question about whether vaccinated people get infected asymptomatically, and if they do, do they transmit the infection to others?”
Fauci said the study will determine how often vaccinated people get infected; whether they are asymptomatic; how much virus they have in their noses; and if they transmit COVID-19 to their close contacts.
The randomized study involves 12,000 college students, ages 18-26, at more than 20 universities.
They’ll be followed for five months.
Six thousand students will be vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine immediately and another 6,000 will be vaccinated four months later.
The delayed vaccination group will serve initially as a control cohort.
Later, another 25,000 individuals will be identified by the study participants as close contacts. They also will provide nose-swab samples.
“The degree of transmission from vaccinated individuals will be determined by the infection rate in the close contacts,” Fauci said.