U of Illinois to test Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine in older and minority populations

The University of Illinois at Chicago will conduct a study of Moderna's experimental COVID-19 vaccine, focusing on older patients and minority groups, which are at high risk of infection, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. 

The trial, part of the federal government's Operation Warp Speed, will include at least 1,000 people and is set to begin July 9. At least 400 people will be 65 or older, and researchers are hoping to test a large number of African American and Latino residents, both groups that are at a high risk of infection and death. They're also hoping to test people working in warehouses and manufacturing sites, places with high risk of the virus spreading. 

Researchers aim to determine if the vaccine is effective in preventing COVID-19 and severe COVID-19 illness, according to the Sun-Times

The trial is scheduled to last two years, but researchers said that if the vaccine proves to be effective by the end of this year or in early next year, it could be approved for use in 2021. 

Study participants will be given a shot at the beginning of the trial and another a month later, with half receiving the vaccine and half receiving a placebo. 

UIC is one of several sites in the U.S. that will test Moderena's vaccine, and more than 30,000 people are expected to enroll in the trials, the Sun-Times reported. 

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