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PreventCOVIDU Study

About the Study

Texas A&M Health is participating in the PreventCOVIDU study, led by the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN), to see if the COVID-19 vaccine can prevent infection and transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Texas A&M Health is looking for 2,000 young adults in Texas who are willing to undergo daily self-testing for COVID-19 as part of this study. Participants will be asked for their preference on receiving the vaccine, and those who are willing to be vaccinated will receive the FDA-authorized Moderna vaccine. 

Eligible participants can earn up to $1,600 over four months of participation. Close contacts who participate in contact tracing can be compensated up to $350 for their participation. 

Imagine if we knew vaccines prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. Join the Prevent COVIDU study so we can get back to life as safely as possible.




Study Eligibility

We are looking for adults 18-29 years old who:

  • Have never tested positive for COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • Have not received any COVID-19 vaccine
  • Are willing to participate in research and attend study visits over four months

The knowledgeable study team at Texas A&M will answer all of your questions about the study and the COVID-19 vaccine.

Study Procedures

Participants in this study will:

  • Take daily COVID-19 tests at home and return them to the study team. 
  • Answer questionnaires via mobile app.  
  • Attend three to four in-person clinics to provide blood samples and vitals.
  • If willing, receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Refer others who may be interested in taking part.
  • In the event of a positive COVID-19 test, participants will give an extra blood sample, record daily symptoms, and refer family and close contacts for a chance to participate, get tested and earn cash. 

Participants will be compensated up to $1,000 for completing these study procedures. Close contacts who participate in contact tracing can be compensated up to $160 for their participation.

maskless people illustration



Yes, people who join a study get compensated for their time and inconvenience. The amount per visit varies depending on how long the visit is and the procedures that take place. The amount also varies from city to city, because the cost of living is different between large metropolitan areas compared to smaller towns and rural areas. Details about compensation will be explained when a person goes through the informed consent process at a local clinic to join a study.
College students are an ideal population for the study because large numbers of COVID-19 cases have been reported on numerous campuses throughout the U.S., with a nationwide survey reporting more than 397,000 cases counted at 1,800+ universities after colleges reopened in the fall of 2020. And, while there are many populations who have a high risk of COVID-19 infection, young people are particularly at risk for getting and spreading the virus. For example, according to a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, between August and September 2020, COVID-19 cases among young people aged 18-22 years increased 55% nationally and during June-August 2020, young people aged 20-29 years had the highest incidence of disease in the U.S., accounting for more than 20% of all confirmed cases.
No. That type of study design is known as a challenge study, which is not what we are conducting. We expect that some people will be exposed to the virus in their everyday lives, and may become sick, but are not intentionally infecting study participants. The Moderna vaccine does not include live, weakened or whole virus.
No, it is not possible for the mRNA vaccines to impact a person’s DNA in any way. mRNA is a piece of genetic code that tells the muscle cells to make the spike protein from SARS-CoV-2 and display it for the immune system to see. It’s like a recipe for making food, with step by step instructions to follow. The vaccine doesn’t have any real ingredients that could cause infection, just the instructions. The vaccine goes to work in the outer part of muscle cells, and does not cross into the nucleus, where people’s DNA is located. You may also know that the mRNA vaccines need to be stored at very cold temperatures to keep them stable. This is because when they heat up, the mRNA starts to fall apart. Once the vaccine is given to a person, it starts to heat up in the body and dissolves within 1-3 days.
Yes. People who want to get pregnant in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Based on current knowledge, experts believe that COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to a person trying to become pregnant in the short or long term. Scientists study every vaccine carefully for side effects immediately and for years afterward, and people who get vaccinated track their symptoms. The COVID-19 vaccines are being studied carefully now, and the side effects data will continue to be studied for many years, similar to other vaccines.
There is currently no evidence that antibodies formed from COVID-19 vaccination cause any problems with pregnancy. In addition, there is no evidence suggesting that fertility problems are a side effect of ANY vaccine. People who are trying to become pregnant now or who plan to try in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them.
Rest, and in some cases, over-the-counter medication (examples: acetaminophen, ibuprofen) might help if you have a fever or aches and pains. These medicines should not be used before getting a vaccine, only afterward to treat side effects.
The risk of allergic reaction is extremely low. Talk to your doctor if you have a history of allergic reactions or anaphylaxis before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. There are guidelines in place that may require you to be observed for more than 15 minutes after vaccination in the event of a reaction so that it can be immediately treated.
Relevant statistics
Moderna: 10 cases of allergic reaction with 4 million doses delivered (0.0003%). In 9 of those 10 cases, the reaction occurred within 15 minutes.
While the study will enroll college students over a five-month period, results are expected later this year and are critical to explain the extent to which the vaccine may prevent asymptomatic infection and onward transmission of SARS-CoV-2. With the U.S. having the highest number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 disease of any nation in the world, this study is vital to making informed public policy decisions in the coming year. Should the vaccine be found to work primarily by reducing symptoms – preventing severe disease and saving the lives of those vaccinated but not curbing ongoing viral transmission — studies project that the number of asymptomatic infections could rise, which would increase transmission and prolong the pandemic.
IRB Number SSU00144981 IRB Approval Date: 29 MAR 2021