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UK COVID research needs young adults who are not vaccinated

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 4:33 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:27 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - CDC tracking of vaccination rates shows that people ages 18-29 continue to have the lowest rates of vaccination against COVID-19.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) are now actively recruiting these young adults for a new study.

“We need the help of people who are not going to get vaccinated so that we can understand how this virus, that is very stealthy, is continuing to move around,” said Mallory Profeta, UK CCTS Communications Director.

The 38.3-percent vaccination rate for young adults lags far behind the 80-percent rate for people 65 and older, but these unvaccinated adults may provide an opportunity to learn more about the disease.

“We know that some people are not going to get the vaccine,” Profeta said, “and we need their help to understand how this is spreading.”

Young adults ages 18 to 29 are being asked to sign up for seven months to track their potential exposure to the virus, and the people they potentially expose. It involves a series of self-administered swabs with a device that looks like a small Q-Tip.

“A third of the Q-tip goes into the anterior part of the nose, the front part of your nose,” study manager Dr. Edgar Hoover said. “And you pull it out, you just pop it in here (a small case for shipping). It is a very non-invasive swab technique to do.”

The trial is administered by the COVID-19 Prevention Network, and funded by the Federal COVID-19 Response Program and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Anyone interested in participating can sign up online. Participants will be paid.

UK researchers said social and political opinions are not part of the study.

“You may have your views one way or the other,” Dr. Richard Greenberg said. “We, for the purposes of this study, are non-judgmental.”

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