Research study pays college students to get Moderna vaccine

By: Sabrina Lee

The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign is participating in a research study sponsored by the National Institutes for Health that pays college students up to $900 for their participation. The study examines the extent of protection given from the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The research question being posed is: Can vaccinated individuals spread COVID-19 to unvaccinated people?

The University of Illinois is one of 27 universities across the nation that have been selected to participate in this study.

Joanna Shisler, Professor of Microbiology and virology expert, is leading the study at the University of Illinois. She says that this is a great opportunity for students to participate in a piece of history.

“It’s really a great way to educate your families, tell them you got the vaccine and what it was like,” said Shisler.

The study involves individuals being dosed with the Moderna vaccine and monitored closely in the following months. Participants must have not had the vaccine, nor can they have previously had COVID-19.

Study participants need to age 18-28, have access to a university that has frequent COVID-19 tests, submit nasal swabs daily, and submit blood samples regularly. Participants will also need to provide two close contacts that can also be monitored and agree to share their information during this period. All three participants will be compensated.

The university is partnering with OSF Healthcare and the Champaign Urbana Public Health Department to conduct this research study.

Applications to participate in the study are still open, and pop-up clinics around campus and the iHotel are available weekly on Thursdays. Visit for more information.

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