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UW Health and University of Wisconsin to test new COVID-19 vaccine

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MADISON (WKOW) -- UW Health and the University of Wisconsin will become one of the first sites in the country to study whether a new vaccine can prevent COVID-19.

In a news release Monday, UW Health announced the upcoming study of an investigational vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

“Our entire team has been working diligently for months to bring this important clinical trial to our state, and now Wisconsinites have an opportunity to be part of solving this crisis,” said Betsy Nugent, chief clinical research officer at UW Health and School of Medicine and Public Health.

The study, which is currently recruiting participants, is a phase 3 randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. It is considered the "gold standard for measuring the efficacy of investigatory drugs."

UW is one of 100 clinical sites around the country to participate in the trial and will enroll about 1,600 people through Oct. at University Hospital.

Participants will be randomly assigned to receive two injections of either the investigational vaccine (also known AZD1222) or a placebo designed to look like the investigational vaccine but containing no active vaccine. Participants are twice as likely to receive the investigational vaccine than the placebo.

Following the treatment, the study will last approximately two years and enrollees will periodically undergo tests to monitor their health. This includes physical examinations, measurements of vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate, blood tests, and COVID-19 testing.

University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics

To be eligible for the next phase:

  • At least 18-years-old
  • Healthy or have medically stable chronic disease
  • Cannot have a previously confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19

People interested in learning more about participating in the study can do so by emailing, calling the hotline at 608-262-8300 or 833-306-0681, or by visiting

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