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Dr. Utsav Nandi
Dr. Utsav Nandi
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Research team continues COVID-focused studies

Initiated in late 2020 through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Preventing Emerging Infections through Vaccine Effectiveness Testing (PREVENT) Project consented over 12,000 health care personnel (HCP) from 33 sites across 25 U.S. states. Led by the UMMC site primary investigator, Utsav Nandi, MD, MSCI, our team of research coordinators, including Lucia Solis and Bekah Peacock, screened over 1,000 UMMC HCPs and consented over 800 of them. They verified vaccination status and COVID-19 tests in over 600 HCPs, and health care utilization in over 200 HCPs.

Early results from Project PREVENT published in MMWR revealed vaccine effectiveness at preventing symptomatic illness among health care providers to be 82% and 94% for first and second doses, respectively (MMWR, 2021). These findings were cited by the CDC as influential in the early lifting of mask mandates. Subsequent follow-up results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine confirming the high effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines (NEJM, 2021).

Although Project PREVENT was completed in June 2022, the UMMC research team will be contributing to Project PREVENT II which aims to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness in preventing laboratory-confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 among HCP, specifically focusing on the effect of vaccine boosters and temporal changes in vaccine effectiveness.

The UMMC research team continues its work with active studies that encompass COVID-19 epidemiology and therapeutics, sepsis, hepatitis C testing, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, and snake envenomation.