CDC Awarded University of Arizona $15 Million to Study Vaccine Effectiveness in Children

University of Arizona


The CDC awarded the University of Arizona (UA) $15 million to study COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and immunity in children and underserved communities. Children as young as 4 months to minors as old as 17 years will be eligible for study of the emergency use authorization vaccine. The announcement didn’t specify who qualified as an “underserved community.” The grant was awarded specifically to the Arizona Healthcare, Emergency Response, and Other Essential Workers Surveillance (AZ HEROES) study, originally designed with a focus on frontline workers such as firefighters.

AZ Heroes lead official and associate dean for research and professor at Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Jeff Burgess, asserted that this research would offer a better understanding of how effective COVID-19 vaccines are in youth.

“This phase of the AZ HEROES study will build on what we have already learned, expand our knowledge of vaccine effectiveness as more youth receive the vaccine and provide vital knowledge as new COVID-19 variants with increased transmissibility expand globally,” said Burgess.

Last month, the AZ HEROES study released research which claimed that vaccinated individuals who contract COVID-19 experience a lower viral load, shorter infection time, and milder symptoms than those who were unvaccinated.

UA was able to launch the study last year with $7.7 million in initial funding from the CDC.

Not all doctors are on board with testing COVID-19 vaccines on children. Some are raising concerns over the safety of these vaccines, citing CDC data of healthy children dying shortly after being vaccinated. Other early research conducted by Israeli and European scientists has already studied the effects of vaccinations on children; their research questioned whether the benefits outweighed the risks.

Earlier this year, Governor Doug Ducey prohibited vaccine mandates on college campuses. Ducey hasn’t responded to plans to test vaccine efficacy for children.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].






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