ASU Running $12.5 Million CDC Study on Flu, COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy

ASU Running $12.5 Million CDC Study on Flu, COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy

By Corinne Murdock |

Arizona State University (ASU) will complete a five-year, $12.5 million CDC study to gauge the efficacy of the flu and COVID-19 vaccines. ASU’s Biodesign Institute will team up with Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Valleywise Health to recruit study participants.

In a press release earlier this month, ASU explained that the study would have two components: measuring the flu and COVID-19 vaccines’ effectiveness during the flu season, and vaccine-induced immune responses over time.

The first component will assess over 1,000 participants infected by the flu or COVID-19. In doing so, researchers will identify communities disproportionately impacted by the flu or COVID-19, as well as the genomic subtypes and variants present within the participants.

The second component will assess about 250 participants who received both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines. ASU disclosed that the purpose of this second component of the study is to better understand the impact of repeated vaccination on vaccine effectiveness. 

The coalition’s clinical experts will be Joanna Kramer with Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Jeffrey Curtis with Valleywise Health, and Mario Islas with ASU. There will also be a number of team members hailing from various ASU schools and colleges: Vel Murugan, a primary investigator; Yunro Chung, a biostatistician; Efrem Lim, a virologist; Matthew Scotch, a molecular epidemiologist; Leah Doane and Cruz Cruz, health disparity experts; Mitch Magee, a clinical researcher; and Craig Woods, a clinical site manager. 

Murugan said that the present state of the Valley makes it the perfect location for the study. 

“Phoenix is a very fast-growing area with a diverse population, which is changing economically and demographically every day,” stated Murugan. 

Arizona is one of a handful of states involved in the CDC’s Vaccine Effectiveness Networks

RAIVEN sites conduct randomized trials to evaluate flu vaccine efficacy on those aged 18-64 years old. This fall’s trial compares the efficacy of the recombinant flu vaccine versus a standard dose egg-based flu vaccine. Trial participants receive one of the two study vaccines over the course of two flu seasons: 2022-23 and 2023-24. 

The other Vaccine Effectiveness Networks are the Flu Vaccine Effectiveness (VE), Influenza and Other Viruses in the Acutely Ill (IVY), New Vaccine Surveillance Network, VISION Vaccine Effectiveness Network, Respiratory Virus Transmission Network (RVTN), and Randomized Assessment of Influenza Vaccine Efficacy Network (RAIVEN).

Arizona is also home to study sites for the VE, IVY, RVTN, and RAIVEN.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.