Seattle COVID Studies

We Need Volunteers for Our COVID-19 Research

Our world-renowned scientists are at the forefront of an unprecedented, global effort to understand how COVID-19 affects the immune system, as well as test safe and effective vaccines against the virus. But we can’t do it alone. We need volunteers like you, of all ages, races, ethnicities and backgrounds to help us by participating in our research studies. This virus doesn’t discriminate and having diverse study participants are important in understanding how we can fight this virus for all of humanity. Whether you have COVID, are at risk or not, it will take all of us working together to stop this pandemic.

We are conducting two types of clinical research focused on COVID-19; observational studies and vaccine trials.

How can I get involved?

Interested individuals must complete our study form. After completing the form, one of our study staff members will be in touch with you.

Observational Study: Seattle COVID Cohort Study

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In observational studies, participants are not given any vaccines or medicines. Participation in this kind of study may involve collecting data through questionnaires, medical exams or tests.

Fred Hutch’s Dr. Julie McElrath is currently conducting the Seattle COVID Cohort Study. In this study we will enroll at least 1,000 volunteers, focusing on individuals who have already contracted COVID-19 or are at higher risk for exposure, such as people living with someone who has COVID, front-line workers and first responders.

We hope to answer critical questions such as:

  • How does the immune system react before symptoms develop?
  • Do people who have recovered from COVID-19 develop immunity?

COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

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The Seattle Vaccine Trials Unit, a Fred Hutch program, is a COVID-19 site in the Coronavirus Prevention Network and works with other groups in search of an effective vaccine.

Trials for vaccines typically have phases, each of which is designed to answer different research questions. Our studies may be in various phases of testing.

Phases of a Clinical Trial

Phase 1

Is It safe?

Phase 1 clinical trials show if a vaccine is safe in a small population of humans and measure how their immune systems respond to it. They can take more than six months to complete. Researchers monitor patients closely for harmful side effects. While not designed to see if the vaccine can stop infection, such trials may give us early hints. 

Phase 2

Is it working?

Phase 2 trials show whether the vaccine is effective in protecting against the virus. Enrolling hundreds, they provide detailed data on the immune response at different dosages in people of different ages and health status.

Phase 3

Can it do the job?

Phase 3 trials show whether a vaccine can protect individuals on a large scale in a community against COVID-19. These studies must be large enough to prove that the vaccine reduces the risk of infection or serious illness. 

Let us know you are interested in participating by filling out our form.

What can I anticipate as a volunteer?

All studies will have some or all of the elements below.

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Potential volunteers will speak with a clinician to review study details and receive a consent form. This one-on-one time is where someone can ask questions and determine if the study is a good fit for them. This initial meeting may be done remotely on the phone or may be done in person. We will work with you to accommodate your preference for the best method that fits for you.

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Volunteers may be asked to provide blood samples during study visits for basic medical testing, tests for the current viruses and to determine exposure to other viruses. These tests will help us learn more about viruses, potential vaccines and the immune system. Copies of medical test results will be provided to volunteers and we encourage sharing with a primary care provider.

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Volunteers may be asked to provide nasal swabs during study visits.

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We look forward to meeting you! Some of our visits may be done in person at one of our study locations or via a phone call. If you are feeling ill or have symptoms, we will work with you on the best way for you to be seen.

Julie McElrath, M.D., Ph.D.

Julie McElrath, M.D., Ph.D.

Lead Researcher

Dr. McElrath is one of the world’s leading HIV vaccine researchers and is director of Fred Hutch’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division. She is working to identify antibodies that bind to the coronavirus, research that could lead to a vaccine.

Julie Czartoski, A.R.N.P

Julie Czartoski, A.R.N.P

Nurse Practitioner

Julie Czartoski is the COVID studies initial contact for all study participants. She manages the Seattle Vaccine Trials Unit Cohort Studies which follows the long-term non-progressor and elite controller study, mucosal study, and the lab control study.

Contact Us To Learn More About Our Studies