MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – UW Health and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) are among the first sites in the country to test a new coronavirus vaccine.

According to UW Health, they will study whether an investigational vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca can prevent COVID-19.

“UW Health and SMPH are proud to be at the forefront of working toward identifying safe, effective solutions to this global pandemic,” says Betsy Nugent, chief clinical research officer at UW Health and SMPH. “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.”

The study is recruiting participants and is a phase 3 randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. This is considered the gold standard for measuring the efficacy of investigatory drugs, according to experts.

UW is one of 100 clinical sites around the U.S. to participate in the trial and will enroll about 1,600 people over the next eight weeks 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, UW says.

After the treatment, the study will last about 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.

UW reports that results recently published in The Lancet from the previous two phases of the clinical trial show the AstraZeneca investigational vaccine delivered strong immune responses in all participants.

According to a release, eligible participants must be at least 18-years-old, healthy, or have medically stable chronic diseases. They cannot have a previously confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. The screening, treatment, and follow-up will take place at University Hospital in Madison. Participants will receive the injections and study-related medical care from the UW Health doctors at no cost.

About 30,000 participants will take part in this study nationwide, according to UW Health.

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

In early August, University Hospital joined a national effort to transfuse antibodies from the plasma of people who recovered from the coronavirus to treat patients still struggling with it. Just a few days after announcing they would join the study, a coronavirus patient at University Hospital became the first to receive a transfusion of plasma from a patient that recovered from COVID-19.

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